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Mike Foltynewicz loves trying to one-up his fellow hurlers in the Atlanta Braves red-hot pitching rotation.

He kept even with cohorts by tossing five shutout innings and Freddie Freeman homered as the Atlanta Braves held off the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 on Sunday.

”It’s like a friendly competition with a fun group of guys [url=http://www.authenticsneworleanssaints.com/cheap-rick-leonard-jersey]Rick Leonard Color Rush Jersey[/url] ,” Foltynewicz said. ”It’s a good vibe.”

The Braves outscored St. Louis 22-10 in sweeping a three-game series in St. Louis for the first time since May 11-13, 2012.

Tommy Pham homered for St. Louis, which has lost four in a row. The Cardinals scored five times in the seventh to rally from a 6-0 deficit.

Foltynewicz matched Julio Teheran and Max Fried to post the Braves third successive scoreless appearance by a starter. Teheran tossed six scoreless innings a 5-1 win on Friday. Fried did not allow a run in 6 2-3 innings of an 11-4 victory on Saturday.

”They’ve been awesome,” said Atlanta infielder Charlie Culberson, who had two hits and drove in two runs on Sunday, ”It makes it easier for us (hitters). A little bit more relaxed for us going up there.”

Foltynewicz (6-4) surrendered one hit – a fourth-inning single to Marcell Ozuna. He struck out nine and walked three in an 86-pitch outing.

”He never gave in, he kept grinding,” manager Brian Snitker said.

Foltynewicz has allowed just two hits and one run over 10 innings in two outings since coming off the disabled list with tightness in his right tricepts on June 25.

”He was kind of wildly effective,” St. Louis infielder Kolten Wong said. ”When you’re throwing as hard as he was, it makes it tough.”

The Braves three starters allowed seven hits over 17 2-3 innings with 24 strikeouts in the series.

”We’ve been feeding off each other,” Foltynewicz said. ”We’re always pulling for each other, pushing each other, asking questions. We hang around together and you can see that we take it out to the mound. It’s been a really fun time.”

A.J. Minter picked up his third save in as many tries by setting the side down in order in the ninth. He has not allowed a run in his last seven appearances.

Freeman’s 16th homer of the season, a two-run drive, pushed the lead to 3-0 in sixth. The blow highlighted a five-run uprising that also included a run-scoring hit from Culberson.

Pham hit a three-run homer off Peter Moylan in the seventh to bring the Cardinals to within 6-5.

St. Louis starter John Gant (2-3) allowed four runs on four hits over 5 1-3 innings.

”I’ve definitely got to do better,” Gant said. ”Came out on the losing end, so anytime that happens, improvements need to be made.”

Francisco Pena had a two-run single in the seventh for St. Louis, which will play 17 of its next 20 games on the road.

The Braves have been in first place or tied for first in 60 of the last 62 days. They kicked off their 10-game road trip in style.

”To come out and win the first three games, that’s really nice,” Culberson said. ”But this series is done. We took care of business. Time to move on.”

Atlanta infielder Ozzie Albies extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a sixth-inning single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: C Tyler Flowers returned to the starting lineup after missing Saturday’s game. He suffered a muscle cramp in the sixth inning of Friday’s 5-1 win.

Cardinals: RHP Luke Gregerson began a rehab stint with Triple-A Memphis on Sunday. He did not allow a hit over one inning. Gregerson was placed on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder impingement on May 16.

UP NEXT

Braves RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-2 [url=http://www.authenticsnewyorkgiants.com/cheap-will-hernandez-jersey]Will Hernandez Color Rush Jersey[/url] , 2.68) will face RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (2-0, 1.93) in the first of a three-game series against the Yankees in New York. Sanchez is 4-1 in six lifetime starts against the Yankees.

Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (4-4, 3.22) takes on Arizona LHP Robbie Ray (3-0, 4.01) in the opener of a three-game series in Arizona that kicks off a nine-game road trip. Martinez is 2-0 in three starts at Chase Field.

For the third time, Tom Brady is the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.

Now he goes for his sixth Super Bowl title, and perhaps with it a fifth MVP trophy for the NFL championship.

Brady added The Associated Press 2017 NFL MVP award Saturday night at NFL Honors to his wins in 2007 and 2010. The New England Patriots quarterback was joined as an honoree by three Los Angeles Rams: Coach of the Year Sean McVay, Offensive Player of the Year running back Todd Gurley and Defensive Player of the Year tackle Aaron Donald.

Other winners in voting by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league were Los Angeles Chargers receiver Keenan Allen as Comeback Player; New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara and cornerback Marshon Lattimore as top offensive and defensive rookies, respectively; and former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, now head coach of the New York Giants, as Assistant Coach of the Year.

Brady is the second the player in the four major professional sports to win MVP at age 40; Barry Bonds won baseball’s award in 2004.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman, who missed the entire season with a knee injury, accepted for Brady.

”Thanks, thanks. Wait up. I literally just found out I was doing this like 20 minutes ago. So, I’ve got to read the text,” Edelman said.

”No, but I’m joking. But serious, Tom said he wanted to say he’s very honored and humbled that he gets this award for MVP. Also, he wanted to thank his teammates, his friends, his family and the Patriots organization for going out and doing what they do.”

Brady competed 385 of 581 passes (66.2 percent) for 4,577 yards and 32 touchdowns with eight interceptions as New England went 13-3 for the AFC’s best record. At an age when many QBs are deep into retirement [url=http://www.authenticsnewyorkgiants.com/cheap-lorenzo-carter-jersey]Lorenzo Carter Color Rush Jersey[/url] , Brady is throwing deep – and short – as well as ever.

Donald was the first pure defensive tackle to win the award since Warren Sapp in 1999. He said it means ”everything. That’s one of the best to ever do it. So, even for my name to be next to that guy’s name is beyond a blessing. This is what you dream about as a kid, dreaming about playing in the NFL to have success like this, to be able to (play good enough) to win this trophy.”

Gurley’s sensational turnaround season in which he ran for 13 touchdowns and caught six TD passes sparked an equally impressive reversal of fortunes by his team, which won the NFC West at 11-5.

”The Saints got the rookies and we took home the offensive and defensive” player awards,” Gurley noted. ”It just tells you the type of players we have on the team. We all help each other out, absolutely. We have some talent, but we’re nothing without the whole nine yards and everybody together. And we also have a coach who’s up for Coach of the Year.”

A little while later, McVay was handed the coaching award.

In his first season running a team and as the youngest head coach in NFL history, McVay led the Rams to a seven-game improvement. McVay, who turned 32 on Jan. 24, ran away with the voting with 35 votes to 11 for Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer.

”What it means is we had a good season that I think we can build on,” McVay said. ”But you have to earn it every single day. It’s a very humbling league.”

The Rams’ hat trick of awards was not unprecedented. In 2003, Baltimore’s Ray Lewis was top defensive player, Jamal Lewis won best offensive player, and Terrell Suggs was Defensive Rookie of the Year. And in 1999, the St. Louis Rams had three award winners: Kurt Warner (MVP), Marshall Faulk (Offensive Player) and Dick Vermeil (Coach).

New Orleans’ sweep of the rookie awards was the first since 1967, when Detroit running back Mel Farr and cornerback Lem Barney were honored. That was the first season for the top defensive rookie award.

”You get caught up in the season, you don’t really get time to pat yourself on the back,” Kamara said. ”But when the season is over you realize what you’ve done. I’ve kind of had to time to look back and say [url=http://www.authenticsnewyorkgiants.com/cheap-b.j.-hill-jersey]B.J. Hill Color Rush Jersey[/url] , I made some history this season.”

Kamara shared duties with veteran Mark Ingram as the Saints won the NFC South. He rushed for 728 yards with a 6.1-yard average, and scored eight times. He also caught 81 passes for 826 yards, with five touchdowns.

The 11th overall draft pick and first from his position selected, Lattimore was a shutdown defender as the Saints went 11-5. He had five interceptions and 18 passes defensed in 13 games, was a sure tackler and, by midseason, was someone opposing quarterbacks tended to avoid. He missed three games, one because of a concussion and two with an ankle injury.

Allen returned from two devastating injuries to win the comeback honor. Allen missed half of the 2015 season with a kidney issue, then was lost in the 2016 season opener with a torn right ACL. There were questions if Allen would ever player at a high level again.

He answered those emphatically this season with the best year of his career. Allen caught 102 passes for 1,393 yards and six touchdowns. He was targeted 159 times, nearly 10 per game.

The awards were announced Saturday night at NFL Honors, when Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt received the league’s Walter Payton Award as man of the year. Watt, in his seventh NFL season and a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, had the goal of raising $200,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston. His fundraising did a whole lot more, bringing in an incredible $37 million in 19 days.

”I’ve been fortunate to be on this stage and to win Defensive Player of the Year awards, but