ATLANTA -- Colby Rasmus hit a pair of homers, Albert Pujols and Skip Schumaker also connected, and Adam Wainwright bounced back from a shaky first inning to lead the Cardinals past the slumping Atlanta Braves 11-4 on Thursday night.

The Braves, looking to turn things around after a poor road trip knocked them out of first place in the NL East, jumped ahead 3-0 in the first inning. But the Cardinals rocked Jair Jurrjens for five runs in the second -- capped by Schumaker's two-out, two-run drive -- and Atlanta took its sixth loss in eight games.

Rasmus went 4 for 4 and drove in four runs, matching his career high in both categories.

Atlanta dropped a full game

behind idle Philadelphia in the NL East and could miss the playoffs entirely if it doesn't turn things around. San Francisco trailed by 1 1/2 games in the wild-card race heading into its late game against San Diego.

The Cardinals won for just the fifth time in 16 games and trail first-place Cincinnati by five games in the NL Central. The Reds lost to Colorado.

Wainwright (18-10) appeared headed for an early exit in the first. The Cardinals committed two throwing errors on one play, Jason Heyward had a run-scoring single and Derrek Lee homered for the first time with the Braves, a two-run shot.

The big right-hander was nearly perfect after that. Wainwright faced the minimum over the next seven innings, giving up a pair of singles to Nate McLouth that were both erased by double plays.

Pujols finished off Jurrjens (7-5) in the fourth, hitting his 37th homer on an 0-2 pitch.

The Atlanta starter surrendered 10 hits and seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Rasmus capped his night with his 21st homer in the ninth, a deep drive to right field off Kenshin Kawakami.

Notes

LHP Trever Miller was day to day after an MRI to evaluate soreness in his left elbow. Doctors determined that he has a strained forearm, and he was expected to rejoin the Cardinals. ... Wainwright is one win away from his career high, last year's 19-8 mark. ... The Braves failed to win their 50th home game of the season. Their record at Turner Field slipped to 49-20, still the best in the majors.