Braves add to losing streak

ATLANTA - Chris Carpenter pitched four solid innings in his first start since April 2007 and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the slumping Atlanta Braves 7-2 on Wednesday night.

Albert Pujols drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh for the Cardinals and Joe Mather put the game out of reach with a two-run homer in the eighth.

Carpenter, who won the NL Cy Young Award in 2005, spent the past year recovering from ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow.

Carpenter allowed one run and five hits. He threw 67 pitches, striking out two and walking two.

St. Louis broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh after Jair Jurrjens (10-6) retired the first two hitters. Adam Kennedy singles and Pujols doubled into the left-field corner.

In the eighth, Mather hit his fourth homer of the season. St. Louis added two runs in the ninth.