ATLANTA — Adam Wainwright pitched eight strong innings, Matt Holliday drove in three runs and Peter Bourjos homered to lead the St. Louis Cardinals past the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Wednesday night.
Bourjos hit his first homer of the season with two outs in the second off Mike Minor. Wainwright helped his cause at the plate, leading off the third with a double and coming around to score. Holliday blew it open with a two-out, two-run single in the fourth.
Wainwright (6-2) bounced back from his worst start of the season, having surrendered 10 hits and six runs to the Chicago Cubs. He allowed six hits, struck out six and was lifted after throwing 103 pitches on Wednesday.
Minor (0-2) lasted just 4 1-3 innings, roughed up for 11 hits and six runs.
One night after breaking a seven-game losing streak, their longest in nearly two years, theBraves returned to a familiar pattern. Freddie Freeman's third-inning single drove home the lone run for an offensively challenged team that has scored more than four runs only once in its last 16 games.
Atlanta went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and was held to one run or fewer for the 13th time this season.
Minor ran into trouble throughout the Cardinals lineup. Up top, leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter reached base four times on three hits and a walk, scored twice and drove in a run. Holliday had three hits in the third spot, knocking in the final run with a single in the ninth off Luis Avilan.
Further down in the seventh spot, the light-hitting Bourjos had three hits and two RBIs after coming in with a .179 average, including a drive into the seats in left-center for his first career NL homer. Wainwright, one of the game's better-hitting pitches, had two hits and scored both times. He was in the middle of things again in the fourth, when his single set up Carpenter's run-scoring hit and Holliday's two-run single that made it 5-1.
The Braves went down meekly after their last threat in the sixth, when they failed to take advantage of runners at first and third with one out. Wainwright retired the last eight hitters he faced.
NOTES: RHP David Hale, who lost his spot in the Atlanta rotation when Minor recovered from shoulder problems, retired all eight hitters he faced after taking over in the fifth. ... Braves RHP Ervin Santana threw in the bullpen with no problems after missing a start because of an injured thumb. He will start Saturday against the Cubs. ... St. Louis manager Mike Matheny gave struggling 1B Allen Craig the day off and started Matt Adams. "When you're not right, you're not right," Matheny said, hoping a couple of days off would help Craig snap out of it. ... Bravesmanager Fredi Gonzalez said he will look to get fourth OF Jordan Schafer more playing time as the weather gets hotter and he starts giving more days off to his starters. ... Both teams are off Thursday. The Cardinals will next play a weekend series at Pittsburgh, while the Braves are hosting the Cubs.