NLDS: Cardinals oust Braves with historic first inning, advance to NLCS

Oct. 9 (UPI) — The St. Louis Cardinals erupted for 10 runs in the first inning and eliminated the Atlanta Braves with a 13-1 rout in Game 5 of their NL Division Series on Wednesday in Atlanta.

The Cardinals’ double-digit inning set a postseason record for the most runs scored in a single inning in a division series or any series-deciding game. It also equaled the most runs scored in any inning in a playoff game.

With the victory, the Cardinals advanced to the NL Championship Series, where they will play either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Washington Nationals in a best-of-seven series beginning Friday. It marks St. Louis’ first trip to the NLCS since 2014.

Braves starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz, who pitched seven scoreless innings in Game 2, lasted only one-third of an inning before being pulled with the bases loaded and the Cardinals already holding a 4-0 lead.

Reliever Max Fried entered the game and walked St. Louis pitcher Jack Flaherty to make it 5-0 before giving up a pair of two-run doubles to Kolten Wong and Dexter Fowler. The Cardinals scored their final run of the inning on a strikeout when a wild pitch in the dirt skipped away from catcher Brian McCann, allowing Marcell Ozuna to reach first base safely.

Foltynewicz was charged with seven runs, six earned, on three hits and three walks. Flaherty allowed one earned run on four hits across six innings. He recorded eight strikeouts and walked one.

The Cardinals added three more runs across the second and third to take a 13-0 lead. Paul DeJong had an RBI double and a one-run single, and Harrison Bader plated Wong with a single to center field.

The Braves’ lone run came on a solo home run from Josh Donaldson in the fourth inning. It marked Atlanta’s 10th consecutive postseason round loss.