Braves 12, Cardinals 3
ATLANTA (AP) _ A day after Greg Maddux was hit hard by St. Louis, John Smoltz shut down the Cardinals.
Smoltz won his ninth consecutive decision, and the Atlanta Braves backed him with three home runs in an 12-3 rout Wednesday.
Brett Boone homered and hit a two-run double, and Ryan Klesko and Brian Jordan each hit two-run homers for the Braves, who have won 10 of 12.
Smoltz (5-0), who leads the NL with a 1.69 ERA, allowed three runs _ two earned _ and five hits in seven innings. He also had two of Atlanta’s 16 hits.
Smoltz is unbeaten in 10 starts since a 4-3 loss to Houston on Aug. 31 and is 17-1 since last season’s All-Star break.
Kent Bottenfield (4-1) was pounded for five runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings. His ERA rose from 1.53 to 2.67.
Mark McGwire, who hit a grand slam off Maddux in the Cardinals’ 9-1 win Tuesday, was 1-for-3 with a two-run single. He had never faced Smoltz before.
Smoltz, who pitched a career-best one-hitter against Cincinnati in his previous start, had pitched 18 consecutive scoreless innings at Turner Field before giving up two-out singles to Bottenfield, Placido Polanco, Willie McGee and McGwire in the third.
St. Louis went ahead 3-2 when center fielder Andruw Jones booted McGwire’s hit for an error and McGee scored from first.
Boone homered to tie in in the third and Klesko’s homer made it 5-3.
Atlanta added four runs in the sixth off Mike Mohler on Boone’s two-run double and Jordan’s two-run homer. Gerald Williams had a two-run single in the seventh off Mike Busby, and Jones had an RBI double in the eighth off Juan Acevedo.
Atlanta had taken a 2-0 lead in the second on Jones’ run-scoring triple and Walt Weiss’ sacrifice fly.
Notes: Atlanta hasn’t lost consecutive games. ... Cardinals are 2-10 at Turner Field in three seasons. ... Otis Nixon, 40, has 603 steals, 19th on the career list, with 498 after the age of 30. ... St. Louis outfielder J.D. Drew did not start for the second straight day after straining his right quadriceps Monday. He pinch hit in the ninth.