- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - Randy Choate’s unplanned “kick save” got in the way of the Cardinals’ chances for a road win.

St. Louis wasted a strong start by Tyler Lyons as Choate (0-1) and Pat Neshek combined to give up the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

With one out in the eighth, Justin Upton singled to center. Freddie Freeman followed with a liner that bounced off Choate’s left leg to third baseman Matt Carpenter for an infield hit.

“If it misses me it’s a ground ball to (shortstop) Jhonny (Peralta), probably a double play,” Choate said. “I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even see it. It just somehow found me and ricochets off me.

“That’s the way it bounces sometimes and it stinks, but what are you going to do? … I could become skinnier I guess but other than that there’s not much you can do about it.”

The Braves snapped a seven-game losing streak. The Cardinals fell to 1-6 in games decided in final at-bats.

Choate said he didn’t see the ball until it hit him right above his foot.

“It was kind of a kick save after that,” he said.

Neshek gave up Chris Johnson’s single to right field that drove in Upton and allowed Freeman to advance to third.

Johnson called the at-bat against Neshek’s side-arm delivery “a grind.”

“It wasn’t easy,” Johnson said. “That guy is funky. He’s nasty. … That was just a battle between me and him and me trying to get something in play. I was able to finally stay on the ball and kind of go the other way a little bit.”

Lyons allowed only one run on four hits, including Upton’s homer, in six innings.

“Great start,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “It’s a shame we haven’t been able to score that guy any runs. … He had everything working today.”

The Cardinals have scored only five runs in Lyons‘ last five road starts.

“It’s not a problem,” Lyons said. “It doesn’t bother me. Those kinds of things I can’t really control. … That kind of stuff will come. It’s not something I don’t think anyone’s worried about right now.”

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