ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright grabbed the National League wins lead with one of his patented gems.
The St. Louis ace pitched a complete-game six-hitter Friday night as the Cardinals subdued the Atlanta Braves 3-1 at Busch Stadium.
Wainwright (15-7) walked none and struck out nine in a 128-pitch outing, his fifth complete game of the year. He also helped his cause with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh that scored Yadier Molina with the game's last run.
Matt Holliday snapped a 1-1 tie in the sixth with a 432-foot solo homer that landed in the second deck. It was the 17th homer for Holliday, and it led to defeat for Kris Medlen (10-12).
The Atlanta right-hander worked into the seventh inning, allowing six hits and all three runs while walking one and fanning three. Medlen also scored the team's only run, leading off the sixth with a single and eventually coming around to score on Freddie Freeman's two-out single.
Freeman's hit came right after Justin Upton was ejected by plate umpire Paul Nauert following his ground out to second for the inning's second out.
In winning for the eighth time in 11 games, St. Louis (75-53) moved within a half-game of NL Central leader Pittsburgh, pending the outcome of the Pirates' game in San Francisco. The Braves (77-51) lost their second straight game.
St. Louis grabbed the lead in the bottom of the second when Molina lined a leadoff double down the right-field line and coasted home as Jon Jay lashed a double past the diving Freeman and into the right-field corner.
That was it for the offenses as Wainwright and Medlen worked fast, changed speeds and got quick outs through the early and middle innings.
Wainwright allowed just two singles through five innings, retiring 10 in a row after B.J. Upton's two-out single. He struck out five. Medlen dispatched 12 straight following St. Louis' run, whiffing two.
NOTES: St. Louis put RHP Jake Westbrook on the disabled list Friday with a lower back strain and called up RHP Carlos Martinez from Memphis (Triple-A). Westbrook is 7-8 with a 4.49 earned run average and has lost his last four decisions, dating back to July 24, as he's struggled with the ailment. ... Cardinals manager Mike Matheny announced that LHP Tyler Lyons will take Westbrook's place in the rotation for Monday night's series opener with Cincinnati. Martinez will work out of the bullpen ... Atlanta put RHP Brandon Beachy (right elbow inflammation) on the disabled list and called up OF Todd Cunningham from Gwinnett (Triple-A). Beachy was scheduled to start Sunday's series finale, but has been replaced by LHP Mike Minor ... The Braves also acquired veteran RHP Freddy Garcia from Baltimore for cash considerations.