Three first-inning runs put the Cardinals ahead early on the Braves, and they lead 4-3 through five innings.
Consecutive singles to start the game resulted in two runs on a double by Matt Holliday. Lance Berkman followed with an RBI double for a three-run lead.
Albert Pujols gave the Cardinals another run in the fifth with an RBI single.
Derek Lowe has allowed four runs on six hits in five innings, walking two and striking out five. He didn't fool many batters in the first inning but settled down and pitched three scoreless innings after. The lack of command returned in the fifth in the form of another run.
The Braves were held hitless through four innings, but they put three runs on the board in the fifth when Brian McCann singled and Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run home run. Joe Mather followed with a walk and Nate McLouth moved him to third on a single, followed by an RBI single from Brandon Hicks to cut the lead to one. But Martin Prado grounded into a double play with the tying run on third to end the inning.
Jaime Garcia has pitched five innings, allowing three runs on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Cardinals fans check out Viva El Birdos.