Drew helps Atlanta get out of St. Louis with a victory

Friday, May 14, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- J.D. Drew enjoyed his return to Busch Stadium, but his happy homecoming could have been better.

Drew homered against his former team for the second straight day, helping the Atlanta Braves beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 on Thursday and avoid a three-game sweep.

Chipper Jones had three hits and Drew finished 4-for-12 in the series.

"I had a good time," Drew said. "It's different competing against them, that's for sure. One of my best friends on the team was behind the plate and he's wanting to get me out more than anybody on the field."

The Braves won for only the second time in eight games.

John Smoltz, pitching for the first time in five days, got four outs for his fifth save in six chances.

"Hopefully we can build on this," Smoltz said. "We haven't built on anything yet."

Reggie Sanders hit a two-run homer and Albert Pujols drove in two runs and had his first three-hit game of the season for the Cardinals, whose three-game winning streak ended.

Sanders broke out of a 3-for-31 slump. Pujols, the NL batting champion last year with a .359 average, raised his average 14 points to .281.

Jeff Suppan (3-4) lasted 3 1/3 innings, the second-shortest outing by the Cardinals starter of the season. He allowed four runs.

Cardinals reliever Julian Tavarez had his smudged hat checked for the second time this season in the eighth.

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