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Power pitcher: Wainwright does it all

Thursday's win 1st time in franchise history that Cards had shutout with all runs coming from pitcher's HR
MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Following a 2-0 series-finale victory over the Dodgers at Busch Stadium on Thursday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny dubbed right-hander Adam Wainwright "the best hitting pitcher in the league."

He had plenty of reason to do so, as Wainwright's two-run home run off Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy -- in addition to his six scoreless innings -- provided the Cardinals with all they needed to split the four-game series and head to a weekend showdown with the Cubs in Chicago on a positive note.

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ST. LOUIS -- Following a 2-0 series-finale victory over the Dodgers at Busch Stadium on Thursday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny dubbed right-hander Adam Wainwright "the best hitting pitcher in the league."

He had plenty of reason to do so, as Wainwright's two-run home run off Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy -- in addition to his six scoreless innings -- provided the Cardinals with all they needed to split the four-game series and head to a weekend showdown with the Cubs in Chicago on a positive note.

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It was the first time in the history of the franchise that the Cardinals had a shutout with all their runs accounted for by a pitcher's home run.

Video: Must C Curtains: Waino clobbers homer, salutes fans

Wainwright, however, was not quite ready to accept the title that Matheny bestowed upon him.

"Eighteen RBI, and [I] didn't win the Silver Slugger," Wainwright said about his performance last season. "So maybe these other managers just never heard of me. 'Hi, my name's Adam. Nice to meet you.'"

With Wainwright's performance on Thursday afternoon, there really is no need for introductions. In his 11th start of the season, the 12-year veteran allowed just four hits and struck out six. The victory marked his fourth straight winning decision, and he has allowed just one run in his past 26 1/3 innings.

"Credit to those guys," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Wainwright pitched well and, literally, pitched well and hit a homer. You gotta tip your hat to what he did today."

Wainwright's homer was launched 410 feet into left field and came with rookie Paul DeJong already on base after tallying his fifth hit in his first five Major League games. Wainwright now has seven RBIs this season, the most by any MLB pitcher.

"[McCarthy] threw me a couple of nasty cutters away that I took, and he threw me that strike breaking ball before, and I think as athletes in here sometimes, we just react, and he showed me the curveball before and kind of locked me up a little bit," Wainwright said of the at-bat. "But he threw it out of the same slot the next time, and I was able to put a good swing on it."

While Wainwright didn't win the game all by himself, his combined efforts led the team to the much-needed victory before heading out on a seven-game road trip.

"We needed them both. We'll take them both," Wainwright said of his pitching and the homer. "[I] wouldn't say one is better than the other, because [I] could have pitched four and hit a two-run homer and the bullpen could have done great. Or I could have pitched nine and given up zero and we might still be playing."

Alaina Getzenberg is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.

St. Louis Cardinals, Adam Wainwright