published Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Jason Heyward homer wins for Atlanta Braves in 12

Atlanta Braves' Jason Heyward smiles in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the 12th inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday, May 11, 2012, in St. Louis. The Braves won 9-7.
Atlanta Braves' Jason Heyward smiles in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the 12th inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday, May 11, 2012, in St. Louis. The Braves won 9-7.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ST. LOUIS — Jason Heyward hit a two-run homer in the 12th inning and the Atlanta Braves beat St. Louis 9-7 on Friday night, ruining the Cardinals’ celebration honoring former manager Tony La Russa.

Dan Uggla homered and Michael Bourn had three hits for the Braves. Craig Kimbrel gave up a hit but struck out two for his National League--leading 11th save in 12 chances.

Carlos Beltran homered twice during a four-hit day for the Cardinals that also included a two-run triple. Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig also went deep.

A sellout crowd was on hand to watch the Cardinals retire La Russa’s No. 10 in a pregame ceremony that included several of the managers’ former players. But seven Atlanta relievers combined for 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball, helping the Braves end a seven-game losing streak in St. Louis that included a three-game sweep last September that propelled the Cardinals past Atlanta for the NL wild card on the way to their second World Series championship in five years.

St. Louis loaded the bases in the 10th and 11th but came up empty against Livan Hernandez (1-0). Pinch-hitter David Freese grounded into an inning-ending double play to end the 10th, and Craig popped out to second to end the 11th.

Chipper Jones, who got a standing ovation before his first at-bat to begin his final scheduled series in St. Louis, walked against Kyle McClellan (0-1) to start the 12th. Heyward followed with his fifth homer to the power alley in left-center, close to the wall decal of La Russa unveiled several hours earlier.

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