McCann's two-run double leads Braves to victory -

McCann's two-run double leads Braves to victory

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Brian McCann hit a two-run double in the top of the ninth and the Atlanta Braves held on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 on Saturday afternoon.

The Cardinals dropped two straight games for the first time since July 25-26 when they lost consecutive games to Philadelphia.

Mike Gonzalez (4-4) got the win despite allowing two runs, one earned in the eighth which gave the Cardinals a 6-5 lead.

The Braves two runs in the ninth came off of reliever Ryan Franklin (2-3) who blew his second straight save opportunity and his fourth of the season.

Rafael Soriano closed out the game for Atlanta for his 24th save in 28 chances.

The Cardinals rallied to take the lead in the eighth before Franklin fell apart in the ninth, allowing three hits and a walk. Nate McClouth led off with a double and Martin Prado singled him to third before Chipper Jone walked to load the bases.

McCann followed with a double to center that left runners on second and third with no outs, but Franklin escaped further damage with two strikeouts and a pop out.

The Cardinals took the lead in the eighth on a run-scoring single by Yadier Molina and an RBI groundout by Brendan Ryan.

Atlanta starter Tim Hudson allowed four runs and 10 hits in 5-plus innings. He walked two and struck out one. His biggest contribution was his first career home run, a two-run shot in the second that gave the Braves a 3-2 lead.

Kyle Lohse made his first start since August 21st after returning from his second stint on the disabled list with a groin strain. He allowed four runs in 3 1-3 innings pitched, his third shortest start of the year.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was ejected by home plate umpire Greg Gibson for arguing balls and strikes after the sixth inning. It was La Russa's first ejection of the season.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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