UNDATED (AP) — Atlanta had won eight of its last nine regular-season games against St. Louis, but the Cardinals turned the tables by beating the Braves 6-2 to win the opener of a four-game weekend series at Busch Stadium.

Matt Holliday broke out of a slump with two doubles. David Freese (freez) drove in two runs as St. Louis won for the fifth time in six games. Joe Kelly improved to 5-2 by holding the Braves to two runs in his six innings.

The Braves played without Jason Heyward, who is out with a broken right jaw after he was beaned during Wednesday's 4-1 win at the New York Mets. The outfielder had surgery yesterday in Atlanta, and is out indefinitely.

In other NL action:

__ Pittsburgh remained a game up on St. Louis in the NL Central by routing San Francisco 10-5. Garrett Jones and Jordy Mercer hit second-inning home runs and the Pirates broke it open with seven runs in the fifth inning. Giants starter Matt Cain had to leave in the fourth inning after being hit on the forearm by a line drive.

— Shin-Soo Choo scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on Arizona's fourth wild pitch of the game to give Cincinnati a 2-1 win. Choo scored both Cincinnati runs, helping the Reds to their third win in the four-game series. The Reds are a season-high 18 games over .500. They lead Arizona by seven games in the race for the National League's second wild-card playoff spot.

— Clayton Kershaw blanked Miami on five hits over eight innings in the Dodgers 6-0 win. That lowers Kershaw's major league-leading ERA ot 1.72. The 13-7 Kershaw struck out six and walked three. He was replaced in the ninth by new closer Brian Wilson. The former All-Star reliever allowed one hit and struck out two in his first major-league appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery. It was his first game since April 2012.

__ The Washington Nationals outlasted the Chicago Cubs 5-4 in 13 innings to take three of four in their series at Wrigley Field. Pinch-hitter Chad Tracy drove in Denard Span on a groundout to drive in the go-ahead run.

— Domonic Brown hit a game-ending RBI single to give the Philadelphia Phillies a 5-4 victory over Colorado. The Phillies scored twice in the eighth and ninth for their second come-from-behind win in as many days to improve to 4-3 under interim manager Ryne Sandberg.

Over in the AL:

— Chris Herrmann's RBI double in the eighth inning plated the winning run in Minnesota's 7-6 victory over Detroit. It was Herrmann's second run scoring double of the game. Detroit rallied from a 6-2 deficit in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game on Austin Jackson's three-run homer. Minnesota roughed up Justin Verlander for six earned runs on ten hits in seven innings, but he came away with a no decision.

— Andy Pettitte (PEHT'-iht) pitched six effective innings, Curtis Granderson homered, and the New York Yankees beat Toronto 5-3 on Thursday after a 3½-hour rain delay for their 10th straight victory against the Blue Jays. The Yanks have won five straight, 10 of 12, and moved within three and a-half games of the final wild card spot in the American League.

— Conor Gillaspie homered leading off the 12th inning in the Chicago White Sox' 4-3 victory over the Royals and their first three-game sweep in Kansas City since 2005.

UNDATED (AP)— Ryan Braun is admitting taking performance-enhancing drugs during his NL MVP season of 2011.

The suspended Milwaukee slugger says in a statement released by the Brewers that he took a cream and a lozenge containing banned substances while rehabilitating an injury.

Braun says, "It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately."

Braun tested positive for elevated testosterone in October 2011. But his 50-game suspension was overturned when an arbitrator ruled that the urine sample was mishandled.

Braun apologized to the collector of the urine sample, his teammates and Commissioner Bud Selig (SEE'-lihg), saying: "''I have no one to blame but myself."

UNDATED (AP) — The Reds have had to do some roster shuffling as they continue their battle for a playoff berth. Right hander Jonathan Broxton is expected to have surgery after has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm. The Reds also said they moved pitcher Johnny Cueto (KWAY'-toh) to the 60-day disabled list to open a roster spot for right-hander Nick Christiani, who was called up from Triple-A Louisville.

Broxton left Wednesday's 10-7 win over Arizona after facing two batters in the eighth inning. Cueto is in his third DL stint this season with a strained muscle behind his right shoulder.

In other baseball news:

— The Blue Jays have placed infielder Maicer Izturis (may-SEER' ihz-TOOR'-is) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled shortstop Ryan Goins from Triple-A Buffalo.

— Infielder Jayson Nix has been placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Yankees after suffering a broken left hand after he was hit by a pitch Wednesday night. He's been replaced on the roster with reliever Preston Claiborne, who is on his third stint with the Yankees this season.

— The New York Mets are the latest team to take a chance on Daisuke Matsuzaka (DYS'-kay maht-soo-ZAH'-kah). The Mets signed the Japanese right-hander to a one-year contract yesterday and plan to start him tonight against Detroit. The 32-year-old Matsuzaka was released by Cleveland on Tuesday.