Boos rained on Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as he trekked to the pitcher’s mound in the fifth inning to remove starter Luke Weaver from Saturday’s game. Moments before, Weaver had allowed an RBI single to Dansby Swanson, giving the Braves their sixth run of the inning.
A smattering of fans left the stadium when the half-inning ended, and the Cardinals ultimately fell 11-4 to the first-place Braves.
After allowing two runs through his first four innings, Weaver loaded the bases for outfielder Nick Markakis, who sent a 3-2 pitch into the Cardinals’ bullpen. Weaver finished the day with 4 2/3 innings pitched and allowed eight earned runs. The righty’s ERA now sits at 5.16.
The grand slam was Markakis’ second extra-base hit of the evening. He doubled in the second inning to set up a Ronald Acuna Jr. two-run homer.
The Braves tacked on two more against reliever John Brebbia, and Bud Norris surrendered an unearned run.
Tommy Pham continued to struggle. He struck out looking twice, grounded into a double play and committed an error in center field. He drew a walk but still has not collected a hit in his past 30 at bats.
Jose Martinez hit his 13th home run of the year in the ninth inning, long after the Braves had blown the game open. The blast highlighted a four-run inning for the Cardinals.
With Paul DeJong going one for three in a rehab start for AAA Memphis Friday, the shortstop looks like he will return to the Cardinals at some point early next week. DeJong suffered a fractured left hand in May and has spent over a month on the disabled list.
Manager Mike Matheny said DeJong met the grip test benchmarks the Cardinals wanted before he started his rehab assignment.
"His strength looked pretty good, and he's been measuring out to exactly how we hoped he would," Matheny said. "Everything I saw looked strong and rested. Sometimes a little break like that can do a guy a lot of good."
Braves DFA Bourjos
The Braves designated outfielder Peter Bourjos for assignment ahead of Saturday's game to make room for pitcher Max Fried.
Bourjos played for the Cardinals in 2014 and 2015. He was hitting .205 this year.
Infielder Jedd Gyorko will start at second base for the Cardinals Saturday. Kolten Wong will sit with lefty Max Fried on the mound for the Braves.
Center fielder Tommy Pham, whose average has dipped to .246, moves back into the No. 2 hole. Manager Mike Matheny put him in the No. 6 slot Friday evening. Harrison Bader will start in right with Marcell Ozuna in left.
1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
2. Tommy Pham, CF
3. Jose Martinez, 1B
4. Marcell Ozuna, LF
5. Yadier Molina, C
6. Jedd Gyorko, 2B
7. Harrison Bader, RF
8. Yairo Munoz, SS
9. Luke Weaver, P
Pitcher Brandon McCarthy was originally scheduled to start against the Cardinals, but he went on the disabled list with knee tendinitis. Fried, a high school teammate of Jack Flaherty, will start in McCarthy's place.
1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Ozzie Albies, 2B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Kurt Suzuki, C
6. Ronald Acuna Jr., LF
7. Johan Camargo, 3B
8. Dansby Swanson, SS
9. Max Fried, P