Neither Jake Woodford, Steven Matz, Miles Mikolas, or Mother Nature was going to stop the Atlanta Braves offense this week. Atlanta punctuated a tremendous series with a 5-2 win over the Cardinals on Wednesday, the first series sweep for the Braves in 2023. The win puts Atlanta at 5-1 on the year, while St. Louis falls to 2-4.
The weather was a bit dreary pre-game, but once the tarp came off, the Atlanta bats came alive again. Matt Olson kicked off a big day by lacing a double into center field, scoring Ronald Acuña Jr. all the way from first to jump ahead, 1-0. One batter later, Austin Riley continued his huge series against St. Louis with a sharp single up the middle to make it 2-0 Braves. Ozzie Albies ended the first inning scoring with a sacrifice fly to score Riley and extend the lead to three.
One inning later, Olson hit his third home run of the season with a 410-foot shot to center field to push the Braves lead to 4-0. To the shock of very few people watching, Olson plated another run for Atlanta in the 4th, turning an inside fastball into an RBI double down the right field line. Acuña scored all the way from first a second time to extend the lead to 5-0.
A very impressive start for Bryce Elder on the mound for the Braves, throwing six shutout innings, striking out six, and allowing only two hits on Wednesday. The only offense for St. Louis came after his departure, with Jordan Walker hitting his first career home run with a line drive to left field off of Michael Tonkin in the 7th inning, and a ninth-inning RBI double from Walker.
Yes, it's only been six games, but the Cardinals presented a hefty step up in competition for the Braves, and Atlanta didn't sweat much throughout the three game series, behind a constant barrage of offense and very solid starting pitching throughout the week.
It's a bigger step up to close out the remainder of the first full week of the season, with the Braves finally coming home to Atlanta and Truist Park. A four-game set against the San Diego Padres starts on Thursday, with first-pitch for the series opener set for 7:20 p.m. ET.