ST. LOUIS -- With a strong finish to his five-inning appearance on Monday, Adam Wainwright solidified his spot in the Cardinals' rotation and earned an upcoming primetime start against the Dodgers.St. Louis has slotted Wainwright in to pitch next on Sunday in the finale of a four-game home series against
ST. LOUIS -- With a strong finish to his five-inning appearance on Monday, Adam Wainwright solidified his spot in the Cardinals' rotation and earned an upcoming primetime start against the Dodgers.
St. Louis has slotted Wainwright in to pitch next on Sunday in the finale of a four-game home series against Los Angeles. That game is slated to be nationally televised on ESPN.
"He'd want it no other way," manager Mike Shildt said. "Nor would we."
The Cardinals, who entered Tuesday with a two-game lead over the Dodgers for the second National League Wild Card spot, have lined up Austin Gomber, Jack Flaherty and John Gant to pitch ahead of Wainwright in that series. The club wanted to confirm that the veteran right-hander recovered well from his first big league start in four months before finalizing that order.
Wainwright, after allowing four early runs, closed his outing on Monday by retiring the final eight batters he faced.
"It made sense based on the big picture of the rotation," Shildt said. "It made sense for how he competed last night. It made sense for what his rest looks like and his ability to go on Sunday. He feels good."
Wacha reacts to shutdown
In his first public comments since being shut down for the season, Michael Wacha acknowledged that he never fully recovered from the setback he incurred during an Aug. 28 rehab appearance with Double-A Springfield.
Wacha pulled himself from that outing after feeling soreness around the left oblique muscle that he had initially strained two months earlier. Discomfort in that area persisted as Wacha ramped his throwing program back up last week, and his comeback attempt officially ended on Saturday when Wacha informed the Cardinals he was not healthy enough to make a scheduled rehab start for Triple-A Memphis.
"It [stinks] really bad, because I want to be out there more than anything competing with these guys," Wacha said. "I want to go into Spring Training healthy and not lingering with this injury. It's all forward on this rehab, trying to get it healthy and get it to where I need to be."
For now, that process involves rest and continued rehab to strengthen his oblique. Wacha does not anticipate being available even if St. Louis plays deep into October.
Prior to Tuesday's game, the Cardinals activated right-hander Mike Mayers from the 10-day disabled list. Shildt confirmed that Mayers would be available immediately, though he'll likely be eased back into action after a lengthy layoff.
Right shoulder inflammation has limited Mayers to one appearance -- that coming in a Triple-A playoff game on Sunday -- since he felt discomfort in an Aug. 25 outing at Coors Field. With Mayers back in the 'pen, St. Louis has a 12-man relief corps.
Gyorko, Molina on the mend
Infielder Jedd Gyorko (left groin strain) increased his pregame work on Tuesday by taking the field for defensive work and spending time swinging in the batting cage. Shildt said that Gyorko could be cleared as a pinch-hitter on Wednesday but that Thursday is the target date for him to be considered ready for a start.
Though Yadier Molina (left hamstring tightness) has resumed limited baseball activities, the Cardinals do not expect him to return to game action until at least the weekend.
First pitch of St. Louis' Sept. 22 home game against the Giants has been moved up to 12:05 p.m. CT to accommodate a FOX national broadcast. FOX is also set to televise the Cardinals-Dodgers game at Busch Stadium this Saturday. That, too, has a scheduled 12:05 p.m. first pitch.
Additionally, ESPN announced on Tuesday that it will broadcast the Cardinals' game in Atlanta on Sept. 18. First pitch from SunTrust Park will be at 6:30 p.m. CT.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.