ST. LOUIS — Yadier Molina had three hits, including a three-run double, and the St. Louis Cardinals moved back into the playoff picture by completing a three-game sweep of the slumping Atlanta Braves with a 6-3 win Sunday.
The Cardinals pulled within 4½ games of NL wild card-leading Atlanta. They have 16 games left and open a three-game set in Pittsburgh on Monday. The Braves start a three-game series with the Marlins on Monday and have 15 games remaining.
Atlanta has dropped seven straight games at Busch Stadium and hasn't won in St. Louis since Sept. 13, 2009.
Jake Westbrook (12-8) allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings for the Cardinals. Jason Motte pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save in eight chances.
St. Louis got to Tim Hudson (14-10) for five runs in the third, taking advantage of a lapse in control by the right-hander. Hudson plunked Daniel Descalso leading off the inning, and hit Jon Jay with another pitch with two down, leaving runners on the corners.
Albert Pujols hit an RBI single before Hudson issued consecutive walks to Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman, forcing home a run. Molina then cleared the bases with a double to right, making it 5-0.
Hudson was charged with six runs and eight hits in six innings.
Braves star Chipper Jones hit a solo drive in the eighth for his 17th homer of the season and No. 453 for his career, moving him ahead of Carl Yastrzemski and into 33rd place. Freddie Freeman singled in a run for Atlanta, and pinch-hitter Matt Diaz had a sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse (13-8) will oppose Brad Lincoln (1-2) on Monday in Pittsburgh. Brandon Beachy (7-2) will get the ball for the Braves on Monday in Atlanta. Chris Volstad (5-12) is scheduled to pitch for the Marlins. ... Freeman's RBI was his 71st, tops among all rookies. ... Pujols went 13 for 36 on the Cardinals' nine-game homestand to raise his average to .297.