ST. LOUIS (AP) Brendan Donovan had three hits with an RBI and Lance Lynn pitched into the seventh inning, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals over the Atlanta Braves 4-3 on Monday night for their fourth straight win and ninth in 12 games.

“To beat that ballclub, and that's a really good ballclub over there, that's a good night,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said.

St. Louis is 25-13 after a 15-24 start, moving three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2022 season.

Atlanta had won eight of its previous 10 games.

“We couldn't get anything going in the early part of the game,” Atlanta manger Brian Snitker said. “I just wish we could have swung the bats earlier. We just couldn't get anything going our way.”

Alec Burleson doubled and singled and is hitting .643 (9 for 14) in his last four games After missing Sunday’s game because of a rib injury, Michael Siani added two singles.

Big league saves leader Ryan Helsley remained perfect in 27 chances but struggled. He entered with a 4-1 lead, but allowed Atlanta to load the bases with one out on walks by Marcell Ozuna and Sean Murphy around Matt Olson’s single.

“I always try to do my job when I get the ball,” Helsley said. “I had a three-run lead there and just tried to attack the plate. It's never easy. That's why it's the ninth inning and they make a big ruckus about it."

Ramón Laureano hit a run-scoring single and Travis d’Arnaud followed with a sacrifice fly before Zack Short struck out.

“When you have the quick ones, you really appreciate them,” Helsley said. "I’m just trying to enjoy the ride.”

Lynn (3-3) allowed four hits in 6 2/3 innings, including Austin Riley’s home run in the fifth. It was his longest outing since April 16. He had no decision in 10 of his previous 15 starts.

“Throughout a season, you'll go through some times when you throw the ball well and have some bad luck and it doesn't go your way,” Lynn said. “I've been fine-tuning and working on some stuff and tonight, everything clicked.”

Rookie Spencer Schwellenbach (1-3), making his fifth big league appearance, gave up four runs -- all in the third - and eight hits in five innings with six strikeouts and no walks.

“I felt good. I had one bad inning,” Schwellenbach said. “I just couldn't seem to make the pitch. At the end of they day, I've got to get better.”

Burleson hit a two-out RBI double and scored on Willson Contreras’ single. Donovan had an RBI single and the Cardinals pulled off a double steal in which Donovan stopped before second and got caught in a rundown as Nolan Gorman came home before Donovan was tagged.

“Stealing that run with two outs was huge,” Marmol said. “That run turned out to be big. To be able to do that was key.”


Braves: SS Orlando Arcia left the game in the bottom of the fifth inning complaining of dizziness. Zach Short took over his position. … LHP Ray Kerr (left elbow UCL injury) was placed on the 15-day IL, effective June 16 and his option to Triple-A Gwinnett on June 15 was voided. He will need Tommy John surgery and will be paid at his major league salary of $750,000 for the rest of the season rather than his minor league salary of $175,449.

Cardinals: Conteras (fractured left arm) was activated from the 10-day IL and went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts. He was injured May 7 when he was hit by the Mets’ J.D. Martinez swinging at a pitch. C Nick Raposo was optioned to Triple-A Memphis. “I was a little anxious before the game but after that, it all calmed down,” Conteras said. … RHP Nick Robertson (right elbow inflammation) was activated from the IL and optioned to Memphis. ... Cardinals: 3B Nolan Arenado (left forearm nerve irritation) remained sidelined. Arenado has received an injection in the nerve.


Braves RHP Reynaldo López (5-2, 1.57) has won four straight starts going into Tuesday’s outing against RHP Kyle Gibson (5-2, 3.44).


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