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Updated: Thursday, May 13, 2004 7:55 PM EDT
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ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- J.D. Drew hit his second homer in as many days against his former team as the Atlanta Braves edged the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-5, to avoid a three-game sweep.

In a game in which each team used six pitchers, Drew's homer in the third off starter Jeff Suppan answered a two-run shot by St. Louis' Reggie Sanders and put the Braves ahead for good, 3-2.

Atlanta avoided its first three-game sweep against St. Louis since July 6-8, 1993.

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

Chipper Jones went 3-for-3 for the Braves - his first hits since missing 15 games with a hamstring injury. He went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in his first two games off the disabled list.

Drew, Marcus Giles , Johnny Estrada and Andruw Jones had two hits apiece for the Braves, who added single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

"We had a lot of hitting and we lined out a lot," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "It looks like we're breaking out here."

Suppan (3-4) yielded four runs - three earned - and eight hits while throwing 88 pitches in 3 1/3 innings.

"I threw a lot of pitches and I fell behind in the count," he said. "And when you do that, things happen."

Estrada's RBI double in the fifth gave the Braves a 5-2 lead, but Atlanta starter John Thomson could not get through the bottom half, giving up a two-run single to Albert Pujols .

A frustrated Thomson yielded four runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.

"I just want to kick myself," he said. "I need to win that game."

Antonio Alfonseca (4-0), who got the final two outs in the fifth with the go-ahead run on base, was credited with the win.

"Hopefully, we can build on this," said Braves closer John Smoltz , who got the final four outs for his fifth save. "We haven't built on anything yet."

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