St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Allen Craig went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI to help the St. Louis Cardinals hand Ervin Santana his first loss of the season with a 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday.
St. Louis knocked Santana (4-1) around for five runs on 10 hits over the first five frames en route to the club's third consecutive win.
Lance Lynn (5-2) battled through seven innings despite taking a liner off his left heel in the second frame. He allowed just two runs on seven hits.
"We have a really talented team," Craig said. "We swung the bats well and Lance did a great job out there."
Santana had given up just six runs over his first six starts but yielded three in the fifth inning alone in the opener of this three-game set.
"He's allowed a tough start," Braves third baseman Chris Johnson said of Santana, "He's been so good for us."
Matt Holliday doubled in Matt Carpenter to break a 2-2 tie, Craig singled in Kolten Wong and Holliday raced in on Yadier Molina's sacrifice fly to left.
Carlos Martinez threw a perfect four-pitch eighth inning behind Lynn, and Trevor Rosenthal retired the side in order in the ninth to pick up his 12th save and send Atlanta to its third loss in four games.
Tyler Pastornicky gave the Braves an early 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the second, but the Cardinals answered in the home half when Craig and Molina led off with singles and B.J. Upton misplayed Matt Adams' deep fly ball to center into an RBI double.
The teams traded runs again in the fourth as Johnson scored on Andrelton Simmons' double-play ball and Craig scored on Santana's wild pitch.
The Braves were 14-0 when scoring first before dropping their last two ... Santana's ERA rose from 1.99 to 2.76 ... Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and center fielder Peter Bourjos were both ejected by home plate umpire Sean Barber for arguing balls and strikes at the end of the fourth inning ... St. Louis took two of three from the Braves earlier this year.