Braves power past Cardinals behind early home run barrage

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After a quiet Sunday, the Braves offense roared back to life on Monday in an 8-4 win over the Cardinals. The win puts Atlanta at 3-1 on the young season, while St. Louis falls to 2-2.

Austin Riley opened the evening with a monster 473-foot home run to left field to give the Braves the early 1-0 lead. The Cardinals responded with back-to-back one-out singles in the bottom of the first to put runners on the corners, before Nolan Arenado grounded into a fielder's choice to tie the game at 1-1. St. Louis wouldn't get any closer the rest of the evening.

The Braves responded loudly in the top of the 2nd with Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr. hitting two-run and three-run home runs, respectively, putting Atlanta back out in front, 6-1. It was Ozzie's first homer of the new season, and Ronald's second.

The Cardinals added two more runs in the 4th with a Jordan Walker single and Brendan Donovan ground out, but Charlie Morton kept them mostly at bay over 5.1 innings of work. He allowed nine hits and three earned runs, with two walks and a strikeout.

Acuña led the Braves offensively with a 3-4 day, a single, double, and the three-run home run.Travis d'Arnaud continued his hot start to year, ending the day 1-5 with an RBI double. d'Arnaud leads the Braves with 7 hits so far in 2023.

Atlanta's bullpen allowed just one run over 3.1 innings, with the only blemish coming via aPaul Goldschmidt solo home run off Nick Anderson in the 7th inning. Anderson, Collin McHugh, and AJ Minter combined to allow just three hits and struck out five in relief.

Braves are back in action against on Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. ET against the Cardinals with left-hander Dylan Dodd set to make his major league debut. Steven Matz will be on the hill for St. Louis.

Notable stats
-Acuña Jr.: 3-4, 2B, HR, BB, 3 RBI
-Albies: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI
-Riley: 1-4, HR, RBI, BB
-Anderson: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4K