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  • ATLANTA (AP) — Cardinals manager Mike Shildt loved watching Yadier Molina grind out a big at-bat in the eighth inning.With the bases loaded and two outs in a two-run game <a title="http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-orlando-cepeda-jersey" href="http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-orlando-cepeda-jersey">http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-orlando-cepeda-jersey</a> , Shildt got exactly what he wanted from Molina, a veteran star catcher who has helped St. Louis chase down plenty of playoff spots during his 15-year career.“He gets down 0-2, and you can just watch him bearing down,” Shildt said. “He got the count full and got a base hit to score two and took advantage of the (error) and we were able to clear the bases there.”Paul DeJong hit a two-run homer, Molina added a two-run single in the four-run eighth and St. Louis won its third straight game with an 8-1 victory over the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.Austin Gomber pitched five effective innings for St. Louis, which holds a slim lead for the second NL wild card. The Cardinals top the National League with 36 victories since All-Star break, and their 43 road wins this season rank second.Atlanta’s division lead dropped to 5½ games over Philadelphia as the Braves lost their fourth in a row after a season-best six-game winning streak. They are 38-38 at SunTrust Park and have dropped 14 of 18 at home.The Braves’ magic number remained at seven as they try to clinch a division title for the first time in five years. Philadelphia beat the New York Mets 5-2.Atlanta manager Brian Snitker can sense his team is pressing.“We’ve been down this road before a few times this year,” Snitker said. “All it takes is one game to get you rolling and get you back on the run. We’ve been resilient. We’ve come back before. There’s no reason to think we won’t do it again.”Anibal Sanchez (6-6) allowed four hits and two runs and struck out six in five innings. He faced the minimum through his first three innings and retired his first batter in the fourth before Jose Martinez singled and DeJong hit his 19th homer.DeJong, who is hitting .478 with four homers and 10 RBIs in five career games against Atlanta, added a run-scoring single in the eighth off Dan Winkler. DeJong’s homer was his 14th on the road.“I think he’s figuring out he’s a run producer,” Shildt said. “We’re seeing a good swing <a title="Phil Niekro Jersey" href="http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-phil-niekro-jersey">Phil Niekro Jersey</a> , and the timing is there.”Gomber (6-1) gave up six hits, one run and three walks. He struck out five for his fifth victory in his last six decisions, but it wasn’t easy for the rookie.After Ronald Acuna Jr. hit his 26th homer to begin the third, Gomber escaped a bases-loaded jam on Ender Inciarte’s lineout to end the inning. Gomber got Inciarte to fly out to strand a runner at third to end the fifth.Gomber felt a boost in confidence after his last start ended with a 9-7 loss to the Dodgers.“I threw a lot of pitches (98) in five innings,” he said. “It was one of those days with a lot of traffic on the bases, but you’ve got to figure a way to get out of it.”Molina’s single in the eighth off Sam Freeman scored three runs. Molina was credited with two RBIs, and a third run scored because Acuna made an error in left field.Tyler O’Neill, who entered as a pinch-runner in the eighth, had a run-scoring double, and Marcell Ozuna followed with an RBI single to make it 8-1.STRONG BULLPENJohn Brebbia and Jordan Hicks faced the minimum in the sixth and seventh, Dominic Leone pitched around a walk in the eighth and Mike Mayers faced five batters in the ninth. The Cardinals improved to 69-6 when leading after seven.STILL STRUGGLINGAfter walking 39 in their last five games <a title="http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-tom-glavine-jersey" href="http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-tom-glavine-jersey">http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-tom-glavine-jersey</a> , the Braves didn’t issue a free pass until the eighth, when Jonny Venters, Winkler and Freeman each walked a batter. Of the 35 runs allowed on this homestand, 15 reached with a walk.WELCOME SOUTHSt. Louis has won eight straight games in Atlanta dating to 2016, the best run since the Cardinals took 11 road games in a row against the Braves from 1967-68.UP NEXTCardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (8-7, 2.86 ERA) will make his first career appearance against Atlanta. The 22-year-old rookie pitched six innings, allowing four hits and one run, in losing his last start 3-0 to the Dodgers.Braves: RHP Touki Toussaint (1-1, 4.67 ERA) gets his fourth career start as he faces St. Louis for the first time. The 22-year-old rookie is 1-1 with a 3.31 ERA as a starter. WASHINGTON (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers left Nationals Park with another win and a new pitcher.Jhoulys Chacin survived a rocky first and pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer and the Brewers beat the Nationals 4-1 on Friday night.During the game, the teams worked out a trade that sent Gio Gonzalez from the Nationals to the Brewers for two minor leaguers. The left-handed starter <a title="Chipper Jones Jersey" href="http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-chipper-jones-jersey">Chipper Jones Jersey</a> , who has struggled in 2018, will be a free agent in the offseason.“We’re excited to get him,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s a good pitcher that’s certainly got a lot of experience and he’s gonna help us.”Holding a 2-0 lead, Chacin allowed the first three Nationals to reach base in the first. A fielder’s choice ground out produced one run, but Chacin retired the next two batters to end the threat.“He squeaks out of trouble all the time and then once he settles in in the second, third, whatever, he’s on cruise control the rest of the game,” Shaw said.Chacin (14-5) allowed a run on six hits while striking out six and walking two in 6 1/3 innings.The Brewers also got home runs from Jesus Aguilar, his 31st, and Erik Kratz in winning their third straight game and eighth in their last 11. Milwaukee holds the second NL wild card spot.Jeremy Jeffress pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 13 opportunities. With a hard rain falling <a title="http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-john-smoltz-jersey" href="http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-john-smoltz-jersey">http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-john-smoltz-jersey</a> , the Nationals loaded the bases with one out, but Jeffress struck out Bryce Harper and got Anthony Rendon on a fielder’s choice.Trea Turner had three hits for Washington, which went 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on.Tanner Roark (8-14) allowed four runs on six hits over six innings.“Just a little erratic at times, not hitting my spots and they made me pay for it,” Roark said.Roark came in 5-1 with a 1.61 ERA in his past seven starts, but the Brewers homered in each of the first three innings against him.Shaw connected for a two-run shot with two outs in the first, Kratz hit a solo home run in the second and Aguilar connected with nobody on in the third.“We scored early tonight and that was enough,” Counsell said.Nationals catcher Matt Wieters was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes.MORE MOVESBrewers: Acquired OF Curtis Granderson from the Blue Jays for minor league OF Demi Orimoloye. Granderson, 37, has hit .243 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 103 games this season. Milwaukee also acquired LHP Xavier Cedeno from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for OF Bryan Connell and RHP Johan Dominguez, two minor leaguers. Cedeno is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in 33 relief appearances this season.Nationals: Sent RHP Ryan Madson to the Los Angeles Dodgers for RHP Andrew Istler. Madson was 5-5 with five saves and a 4.08 ERA in 69 games for Washington. Istler went 4-4 with a 2.37 ERA in 41 games (one start) between three levels of Los Angeles’ minor league system.TRAINER’S ROOMNationals: LHP Sean Doolittle (left toe inflammation) threw a simulated game Friday and is slated for another one Sunday or Monday. “I was a little bit inconsistent with my execution <a title="Matt Kemp Jersey" href="http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-matt-kemp-jersey">Matt Kemp Jersey</a> , but I was very happy with how the foot felt,” he said. … Manager Dave Martinez said Harper is still battling a cough, but the former MVP was back in the lineup after pinch hitting on Wednesday.UP NEXTBrewers: RHP Chase Anderson (9-7, 4.04) makes his second career appearance against Washington, the first being a 2014 loss while with Arizona.Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-7, 4.14) makes his first start against Milwaukee since 2014. He’s 0-2 with a 5.30 ERA in three games vs. the Brewers.