ST. LOUIS (AP) Austin Riley hit a two-run homer and Dylan Dodd pitched five strong innings in his major league debut, helping the Atlanta Braves beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Dodd allowed one run and six hits. The left-hander, who grew up three hours from Busch Stadium in Bismarck, Illinois, struck out three and walked none, throwing 52 of his 73 pitches for strikes.
“I was the most nervous I’ve ever been,” said Dodd, who had more than 150 family and friends at the game. “But I’m just grateful that you know, it’s in a local area here that I was able to have a lot of friends and family.”
Braves manager Brian Snitker said Dodd showed a lot of poise.
“He throws strikes and he has a good feel for his pitches and his off-speed stuff,” Snitker said. “And you know, every now and then you see him reach back and get a little more.”
Jesse Chavez, Joe Jiménez, Dylan Lee and Kirby Yates combined for three scoreless innings before A.J. Minter worked a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.
“We had a few guys down today,” Snitker said. “So, the other guys, they stepped up really good and it was good to see because you don’t know until you use a bullpen how things are going to shape up.”
St. Louis got its only run on Willson Contreras’ RBI single in the fourth. The Cardinals put runners on second and third with two out in the fifth, but Dodd (1-0) got Tommy Edman to fly out to right.
Riley drove a Steven Matz changeup deep to left to make it 2-0 in the first. Riley also homered in Atlanta’s 8-4 victory on Monday.
Orlando Arcia led off the second with another homer for the Braves, and Sean Murphy tacked on an RBI single in the third.
Murphy, who caught Dodd, said the rookie stayed true to himself.
“He got here with his three pitches and he said I’m gonna you know, attack with my three pitches,” Murphy said. “I’m not going to try and get crafty or be somebody else. I’m just going to be who I am and make my pitches and let what happens happens.”
Matz (0-1) allowed 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
St. Louis second baseman Taylor Motter went 1 for 2 with a fifth-inning double in his major league debut.
Tyler O’Neill attempted to score on Brendan Donovan’s pinch-hit single as St. Louis attempted to rally in the seventh, but Ronald Acuña Jr. threw out O’Neill at the plate to end the inning.
Marmol took issue with O’Neill’s turn around third on the sharply hit ball to Acuña.
“That’s not our style of play as far as the effort, rounding the bag there,” Marmol said. “It’s unacceptable.”
Marmol and O'Neill discussed the play following the game.
“I’ve never been known to be a dog out there in any caliber," O’Neill said. "So, you know, for him to say that it’s very strong words.”
Jordan Walker singled in the seventh. The Cardinals rookie has hit safely in all five of his games.
Braves: LHP Max Fried (strained left hamstring) was placed on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Saturday.
Cardinals: OF Lars Nootbaar (left thumb contusion) was placed on the 10-day IL on Monday and OF Juan Yepez was recalled from Triple-A Memphis.
Right-hander Miles Mikolas (0-0, 13.50 ERA) will start Wednesday as the Cardinals try to avoid the sweep against the Braves and right-hander Bryce Elder (2-4, 3.17 ERA in 2022). Mikolas is 1-3 with a 3.04 ERA against Atlanta in five career games. Elder was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday.
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