St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Tim Cooney  Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Tim Cooney Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Tim Cooney tossed seven strong innings to pick up his first major league win in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday.

Randal Grichuk homered, drove in a pair of runs and scored twice for the Cardinals, who improved to 6-2 in their last eight against the Braves at Busch Stadium.

Cooney (1-0) yielded just two runs on five hits with five strikeouts, outdueling fellow rookie southpaw Manny Banuelos.

Banuelos (1-2) entered the game with a 1.08 ERA over his first four major league appearances, which included three starts, but he got hit around on Friday. Banuelos was responsible for all four runs on six hits over just five- plus innings of work.

The Cardinals did all of their damage in the first four innings. Grichuk opened the scoring with his two-run homer in the second inning, Jhonny Peralta singled in Matt Carpenter in the third and Grichuk singled, stole second and scored on a Mark Reynolds base hit in the fourth.

Cooney allowed just two hits over the first five innings before Atlanta got to him in the sixth. With one away, Cameron Maybin knocked in Andrelton Simmons with a double to right, and Cooney’s wild pitch allowed Maybin to scamper home two batters later and make it 4-2.

After Cooney departed, Seth Maness tossed a scoreless eighth inning to preserve the lead. Kevin Siegrist, filling in for normal closer Trevor Rosenthal, allowed two baserunners in the ninth before striking out Jonny Gomes to pick up his fifth save.

Rosenthal was not available after pitching the previous three nights.