The Atlanta Braves battled back with a dramatic ninth-inning comeback to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals on the road on Sunday in Game 3 of the NLDS, and put themselves in the driver’s seat to advance with a 2-1 series lead.
Atlanta trailed 1-0 for the majority of the game after Marcell Ozuna doubled and then came around to scored on a sacrifice fly in the second inning. Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright and Braves starter Mike Soroka spent the first seven innings trading impeccable innings on the mound, with Ozuna’s run being the only event to separate the two teams.
Wainwright, the 38-year-old veteran starter, was dominant, holding Atlanta’s potent offense scoreless and striking out eight batters in 7.2 innings of brilliant work.
Despite allowing a second-inning run, Braves rookie starter Mike Soroka was almost as good, striking out 7 and allowing only 2 hits in seven innings.
Things changed in the top of the ninth inning when Cardinals closer Carlos Martinez entered the game. After allowing a double to Josh Donaldson and walking Brian McCann to face shortstop Dansby Swanson, the young infielder made St. Louis pay with a game-tying double.
Pinch-hitter Adam Duvall then entered, rapping a single to centerfield to bust the tie and put Atlanta up 3-1. Closer Mark Melancon worked a clean ninth inning to save the game for the Braves, who managed to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.
Atlanta will now look to win in Game 4 in St. Louis and clinch their first berth in the NLCS since the 2001 season.