ATLANTA -- When Andrelton Simmons botched a grounder, the St. Louis Cardinals seized their opportunity. For the Atlanta Braves, it was another night of missed chances. Matt Carpenters two-run double that helped carry St. Louis past the slumping Braves, who shook up their lineup but still lost their seventh in a row, 4-3 on Monday. The Cardinals scored three runs in the fifth inning, taking advantage of shaky defence by Atlantas Gold Glove shortstop. In fact, Simmons had a couple of plays that couldve been scored errors but were initially ruled hits. The second one was changed to an E-6 and turned out to be especially costly, leading to a pair of unearned runs. St. Louis built a 4-0 lead and barely held on to win the series opener. "It was big," Carpenter said. "Especially when we got out to a big lead, to be able to hold them off, that was big for us." Desperate for more offence, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez batted pitcher Aaron Harang eighth and put second baseman Ramiro Pena in the ninth spot. Pena had two hits, including a seventh-inning homer that brought the Braves within a run, but they couldnt overcome a 4-0 deficit. Juston Upton took a called third strike from Trevor Rosenthal to end the game with the potential tying run at second base -- Uptons fourth strikeout of the night and extending Atlantas woes with runners in scoring position. The Braves were 1 for 12 in those situations and are 6 of 51 during their losing streak, though Freddie Freeman saw some encouraging signs. "We hit some balls hard with runners on," he said. "We were in the game the whole game. We couldnt say that the past week." The last time the Braves had such a lengthy skid was May 21-28, 2012, when they dropped eight in a row. Their longest losing streak last season was four straight. Shelby Miller (4-2) got a shaky win, giving up six hits and two runs in five-plus innings. Trevor Rosenthal pitched out of trouble for his ninth save, giving up a leadoff single to Simmons. Jordan Schafer bunted the runner to second, but Pena flied out to right before Upton whiffed. Harang (3-3) took the loss, though he pitched much better than his previous start, when he was pounded for nine runs by the Marlins. This time, he gave up four runs in six innings but only two were earned. The game was scoreless until the fifth, when Peter Bourjos led off with a single before Mark Ellis grounded one off Simmons glove. The shortstop, looking to make a force at second, appeared to take his eyes off the ball as it skipped past him. After Miller bunted the runners to second and third, Carpenter doubled to right-centre to bring them both in. Matt Holiday followed with a hard liner past third baseman Chris Johnson to make it 3-0. "Those things happen," Harang said of Simmons error. "I told him not to be too hard on himself. Hes probably going to save my butt plenty of times this year." St. Louis added another run in the fifth on Bourjos RBI single, but Gonzalez challenged a call at third base that had seemingly given the Cardinals a 5-0 lead. Yadier Molinas bases-loaded grounder ricocheted off Harangs leg, right to Johnson at third. He caught it and blindly stepped back in search of the bag and managed to barely nick it, as the replay showed. The called was quickly overturned after a review of only 37 seconds. The Braves knocked out Miller in the bottom half of the sixth, the first three hitters reaching safely. The Cardinals went to the bullpen after Evan Gattis RBI single, and B.J. Upton followed with a sacrifice fly off Pat Neshek. Neshek escaped the jam by striking out Simmons. NOTES: The Cardinals sent pitcher RHP Joe Kelly back to St. Louis to continue his rehab from a strained left hamstring. "Joe just wasnt to the point where they thought they could push him, so keeping him around the rest of this road trip didnt make any sense," general manager John Mozeliak said. "I dont know Id call it a setback as much as he just wasnt progressing as quickly as we wanted." ... Atlanta RHP Gavin Floyd will make his season debut when he starts Tuesday against LHP Tyler Lyons (0-2) of the Cardinals. Floyd is coming back from Tommy John surgery and will start in place of Ervin Santana, who has a bruised right thumb. Zach Miller Jersey
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.com) - The Carolina Panthers won for the first time in seven games last week, were without Cam Newton due to a car accident this week, but somehow sit atop the much-maligned NFC South.DALLAS -- Nick Russell had 15 points to go with several big steals, and coach Larry Browns SMU Mustangs stayed undefeated at home with a 76-55 victory Saturday night over No. 7 Cincinnati, ending the Bearcats 15-game winning streak. SMU (19-5, 8-3 American Athletic Conference) has already beaten three Top 25 opponents in seven games since moving into the renovated Moody Coliseum on campus five weeks ago. Before that, the Mustangs hadnt defeated a ranked opponent anywhere since December 2003. They hadnt had multiple wins against Top 25 teams in the same season since 1984-85, the last time SMU appeared in the poll. When this one was over, fired-up fans rushed the floor. Russell had two steals in less than a minute that led to breakaway baskets, with a 3-pointer from Nic Moore in between, to cap an 11-0 run by the Mustangs after Cincinnati (22-3, 11-1) cut the gap to 48-41 midway through the second half. Cincinnati hadnt lost since dropping consecutive games against New Mexico and Xavier in the first half of December. The Bearcats beat SMU 65-57 at home in the AAC opener on New Years Day. Ben Moore also had 15 points for SMU, while Nic Moore scored 14 and Cannen Cunningham 11. AAC scoring leader Sean Kilpatrick led Cincinnati with 22 points on 5-of-18 shooting, including 3 for 12 on 3-pointers. The Bearcats scored six ppoints in a row to make it 48-41, the closest they had been since there were 3 minutes left in the first half, when Titus Rubles hit two free throws after being fouled on a breakaway drive after stealing a pass.dddddddddddd. They didnt get any closer after Russell made a layup after Markus Kennedy broke through two defenders and passed him the ball. SMU was back up 59-41 with 8:13 left when Russell had a steal and broke free for a thunderous, one-handed dunk. Nic Moore hit a 3-pointer right before that, after Ben Moores breakaway layup that came after another steal by Russell. The sellout crowd in the 7,000-seat building broke into chants of "Larry! Larry! Larry!" several times -- from before tipoff until late in the game. While students at one end serenaded Cincinnati players with "Over-rated," students sitting at the end near Brown and the SMU bench yelled out "Under-rated!" Maybe that wont be the case any more for the Mustangs after another convincing victory over a ranked team. One of the last chants summed it up best: "Moody Madness!" The Mustangs won all five of their home games played off campus before re-opening Moody Coliseum with a 74-65 win Jan. 4 over then-No. 17 UConn. On the Saturday before Cincinnati came to town, SMU beat then-No. 22 Memphis 87-72. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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