ST. LOUIS (AP) — Chris Carpenter won on his 35th birthday and Yadier Molina had the go-ahead hit for the second straight game in the St. Louis Cardinals' 5-4 victory over the sagging Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
Atlanta has totaled 13 runs during a seven-game losing streak, the franchise's worst since a 10-game skid June 11-22, 2006. The Braves coughed up an early lead for the second straight game, 2-0 after three innings Tuesday and 3-0 after five on Monday.
Derek Lowe (3-2) was one of seven pitchers who have thrown a no-hitter making starts on Tuesday. He retired the first 10 batters before Ryan Ludwick homered and was chased in a four-run sixth that put St. Louis ahead 5-2.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa batted the pitcher eighth for the first time since last July before the Matt Holliday trade. He needed four pitchers to exit the seventh as the Braves scored twice to cut the gap to 5-4 and Jason Heyward took a called third strike against Trever Miller with the bases loaded.
Carpenter (3-0) allowed two runs on three hits in six innings, beating the Braves for the first time since 2006 and raising his career mark against them to 3-2. Melky Cabrera and Lowe had run-scoring singles in the second, the latter Lowe's 16th career RBI.
Molina's two-run single put the Cardinals ahead 4-2 and knocked out Lowe. Molina's RBI double broke an eighth-inning tie in a 4-3 victory Monday and he's 2 for 2 with six RBIs with the bases loaded after going 1 for 15 last year.
Blake Hawksworth's throwing error to the plate on Martin Prado's tapper with two men on led to two unearned runs in the seventh for the Braves, who added an RBI infield hit by Chipper Jones. Jason Motte got the last five outs for his first save and second of his career.
Ludwick hit his fourth homer just inside the left field foul pole in the fourth and added an RBI double in the sixth. He's 8 for 13 with three homers and eight RBIs against Lowe.
NOTES: Troy Glaus was 0 for 3, flied out with a man on to end the game and walked twice, dropping his average to .515 (17 for 33) against the Cardinals. ... Todd Wellemeyer was the last St. Louis starting pitcher to bat eighth on July 21, 2009. The Cardinals did it 55 times last year. ... Heyward was 0 for 3 with a walk and has one hit in his last 20 at-bats.