ATLANTA - Brooks Conrad recaptured his pinch-hit magic of 2010, driving in the winning run in the ninth inning to give the Atlanta Braves a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.
Conrad, who had three homers - including two grand slams - and drove in 12 runs as a pinch-hitter last season, hit a bloop single to center off Ryan Franklin to drive in Alex Gonzalez from second base.
Gonzalez, who had a two-run homer in the fifth, opened the ninth with a pop fly off Franklin (0-3) that bounced off shortstop Ryan Theriot's glove for an error. Gonzalez moved to second on Joe Mather's sacrifice before Franklin walked Nate McLouth.
Jonny Venters (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth. Derek Lowe gave up six hits and four runs in five innings three days after his DUI arrest.