Wainwright helps Cards even series vs. Rox

May 18th, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Holliday's two-run double in the third inning was more than enough for Adam Wainwright, who threw a season-high 6 2/3 innings to pitch the Cardinals past the Rockies, 2-0, Wednesday night.

"I needed a game like that," Wainwright said. "I need a bunch of games like that. What I told you after [my last start] in Anaheim is I'm starting over, so this is a new season for me. That other junk that I went through, it all led me to where I'm at right now, and I'm going to keep going forward."

It marked the first time this season Wainwright shut out the opposing team. The Rockies managed five hits off the Cardinals' ace -- including two off the bat of Charlie Blackmon -- but went 0-for-9 against Wainwright with runners in scoring position. Stephen Piscotty put together a 3-for-4 night for the Cardinals. His single in the third set up the run-scoring opportunity for Holliday.

"We were able to score first tonight, which was big," Piscotty said. "There were a lot of pitches in the zone, and a lot of us were able to take some good at-bats and luckily find some holes. We did a good job barreling the ball tonight."

The Rockies had a five-game winning streak come to an end and were shut out for the first time this season. Rockies starter Chris Rusin made his first quality start of the season but was handed his second consecutive loss.

The Rockies's biggest problem was Wainwright, whose ERA against them dropped to 1.31 in 13 games (nine starts) with an 8-1 record.

"He hasn't been vintage Wainwright so far, early this year, but he knows what he's doing," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "There's a lot of wisdom and feel to pitch, and he still has a good arm, good stuff, and we saw that tonight."

It was Wainwright's longest scoreless outing since Sept. 22, 2014. His four-game winning streak is his longest since he strung together five victories to end the 2014 season.

"That was the kind of start we've been hoping for," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "The one that he would start and finish strong. It was exactly what we needed."


Double duty: Holliday's RBI double snapped an 0-for-15 skid and gave him his 11th multi-RBI game against his former team. He has stretched 19 of his 34 hits this season into extra bases and improved to 4-for-8 with two doubles against Rusin.

"He looks good to me," Matheny said. "I commented a couple times in Anaheim about how that was some of the best bat speed I've seen from him in the last five years. He just seems to be in a good spot. He [was] a difference maker tonight. He's taking good at-bats and looks strong at the plate."

Escaping the squeeze: Leading 2-0 in the fourth, the Cards attempted a Wainwright squeeze bunt with one out. But Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds made a glove flip to catcher Tony Wolters, who tagged Aledmys Diaz.

Not so fast: Blackmon roped a leadoff triple to right field to start the game. Trevor Story came to the plate next and hit a sharp grounder at third baseman Matt Carpenter, who threw home and nailed Blackmon at the plate with time to spare. Blackmon's poor read came with Nolan Arenado, who entered the night second in the National League with 33 RBIs, on deck.  

90 feet away isn't close enough: After Blackmon was foiled at the plate in the first, the Rockies had two other shots with a man at third but couldn't score on Wainwright. Reynolds doubled to start the fourth and moved to third with two out, but Wainwright worked Wolters into a grounder. In the seventh, Matheny went to Kevin Siegrist with two out and runners at first and third, and Siegrist rewarded him with a strikeout of Blackmon.


In the fifth inning, Yadier Molina broke Ted Simmons' Cardinals franchise record of 12,335 innings caught, a record that stood for 26 years.


Arenado, who has taken Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in each of his three Major League seasons, celebrated the 79th birthday of the greatest third baseman of an earlier generation -- Brooks Robinson -- in style. Arenado's diving play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first started a double play. Arenado's play occurred after rookie shortstop Story took a painful error -- a Holliday bouncer that hit Story square between the eyes after ticking off the heel of his glove.

"We talk about it a lot; he does it all year," Weiss said. "He does it on a daily basis. That was another great play."


Rockies: Rookie righty Jon Gray (1-1, 4.71 ERA), who has posted a 1.38 ERA in two road starts and beat the Mets at home in his last start for his first big league win, will face the Cardinals on Thursday at 5:15 p.m. MT.

Cardinals:Michael Wacha (2-4, 3.23 ERA) will take the mound looking for his first win since April 23 after losing his last four decisions on Thursday at 6:15 p.m. CT.

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