Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, right, celebrates with Jason Heyward after hitting a three-run home run in the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
ATLANTA -- Dan Uggla hit a three-run homer, Michael Bourn also went deep and the Atlanta Braves snapped their longest losing streak in more than two years, holding off the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 Tuesday night after an eight-game skid.
Bourn led off the bottom of the first with his fifth homer of the season, tying a career high. Uggla made it 4-0 in the third, sending one into the seats in left-center.
Randall Delgado (3-5) worked into the sixth, allowing three runs, and the Cardinals closed within a run in the seventh on Yadier Molina's third RBI of the night, a run-scoring single. Molina went 4-for-4, including a solo homer. But Craig Kimbrel got the final three outs for his 14th save in 15 chances.
Jake Westbrook (4-4) took the loss.
The Braves shook things up before the game, sending reliever Kris Medlen to the minors so he could stretch out his arm and return to the big leagues as a starter. He was replaced on the roster by speedy outfielder Jose Constanza, who started in left and batted ninth -- ahead of Delgado -- as manager Fredi Gonzalez looked for ways to shake the team out of its worst slump since a nine-game winless stretch in April 2010.
"Why not?" Gonzalez said.
The unusual lineup paid off in the fifth, when Constanza led off with a single, moved to second on Westbrook's errant throw to first, raced to third on Bourn's deep flyout and sped home on Westbrook's wild pitch. That gave the Braves a 5-2 lead, which turned out to be just enough to hold off the Cardinals.
Molina had his third four-hit game of the season. He began the comeback with a run-scoring single in the fourth, when St. Louis scored twice to halve Atlanta's lead to 4-2. Molina followed in the sixth with his eighth homer, a one-out shot into the left-field seats. Then, in the seventh, he came through again with an RBI single to right off Jonny Venters, making it a one-run game.
But Venters, who has lost his role as the eighth-inning setup man to Kimbrel, escaped the jam by striking out Matt Adams with runners at first and third.
Eric O'Flaherty worked a perfect eighth, with two strikeouts, and Kimbrel struck out two more in a 1-2-3 ninth. Matt Holliday went down swinging on a 98-mph fastball to end it.
Westbrook gave up only five hits in five innings, but the long ball sent him to his fourth straight start without a win. Bourn drove a 2-2 pitch into the seats to start the Atlanta first, tying the career high for homers that he set with Houston in 2008. There's plenty of time to take down that mark, with four months left in the season.
Bourn took the more customary leadoff role in the third, working Westbrook for a one-out walk. Martin Prado singled and Brian McCann grounded out before Uggla came through with his eighth homer.
Notes: The Cardinals outhit the Braves 10-5. ... Gonzalez didn't say who Medlen will replace in the rotation once he returns from Triple-A Gwinnett, but left-hander Mike Minor (2-4, 6.98 ERA) is the most likely candidate to get bumped. ... Atlanta also snapped a streak of four straight games giving up at least seven runs.