Surging Cardinals top Braves
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday stroked consecutive run-scoring doubles during the decisive fifth inning to help the St. Louis Cardinals down the Atlanta Braves, 6-2, Thursday in the opener of a four-game series at Busch Stadium.
David Freese finished with two RBI, while the first three hitters in St. Louis' lineup -- Carpenter, Beltran and Holliday -- combined for six hits and four runs scored for the Cardinals, who have won five of their last six games.
The victory moved St. Louis within one-half game of the NL Central-leading Pirates, who are currently in action against the San Francisco Giants.
St. Louis starter Joe Kelly (5-3) held the Braves to two runs on seven hits and two walks over six frames to notch his fifth victory in his last seven starts. He's unbeaten since a June 5 loss to Arizona.
Paul Maholm (9-10) was activated off the 15-day disabled list prior to the game and made his first start in just over a month due to a bruised left wrist. The Atlanta southpaw allowed five runs -- four earned -- on five hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings to absorb the loss.
Justin Upton stroked a two-run homer to account for Atlanta's offense, as the NL East leaders lost for the third time in their last five games.
08/22 23:32:46 ET