“We got a happy flight,” said Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman, who reached base four times. “We grinded all day and so did the offensive hitters. We never caved today and we gut one out in the ninth.”
With two outs, Freeman went to third on pinch hitter Ryan Doumit’s double to right. Rosenthal intentionally walked pinch hitter Evan Gattis to load the bases and then walked Jordan Schafer to force in the tying run.
“A battle royal there at the end,” Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We just kept getting good at-bats and it’s nice to win this one. Maybe it will get us going in the right direction.”
St. Louis dropped a game it was close to winning.
“It would have been a big win, no question,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “They’re all tough, but to have a lead in the ninth, even a slim one, that a tough one to lose.”
Dan Carpenter (3-0) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief for the win. Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances. The save was the 150th of Kimbrel’s career.
Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia pitched seven innings in his first outing in more than a year.
Garcia, who underwent surgery in May 2013 to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff in his pitching shoulder, allowed four runs and five hits with five strikeouts. The outing was Garcia’s 100th appearance in the major leagues, but first since May 17, 2013.
“I made some good pitches, I made some mistakes,” Garcia said. “I had some butterflies going on in the first inning, but nothing different.”
Kolten Wong drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double in the second inning.