PHOENIX -- The Cardinals rode a 6 1/3-inning, eight-strikeout performance from Adam Wainwright on Wednesday to top the D-backs, 4-3, at Chase Field.Wainwright, who owned an 8.10 June ERA entering Wednesday's start, ended the month on a high note by recording his highest strikeout total since April 21. The right-hander
PHOENIX -- The Cardinals rode a 6 1/3-inning, eight-strikeout performance from Adam Wainwright on Wednesday to top the D-backs, 4-3, at Chase Field.
Wainwright, who owned an 8.10 June ERA entering Wednesday's start, ended the month on a high note by recording his highest strikeout total since April 21. The right-hander capped off four of his six innings with strikeouts and punched out Paul Goldschmidt with the bases loaded to escape trouble in the third.
"I thought he had his entire repertoire working today, and you could see it, he held us in check," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "I feel like where, even though I hate to, we have to give a quality pitcher who's been around for a while some credit."
It was the second consecutive quality start for Wainwright to follow a three-game stretch in which he was knocked around for 20 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings.
"That Baltimore start needed to happen for me to get better," Wainwright said, referring to a June 17 outing in which he allowed nine runs over 1 2/3 innings. "I hate saying that was an important game for me, but it really was an important game for me to see what I needed to do, the corrections [I needed to make]. My mechanics, my delivery, my tempo, [they are] just miles and miles better."
The Cardinals did most of the damage in the fourth, when their first five batters reached base to start the inning, and Yadier Molina drilled a two-run single through the hole to left field. Their other run in the inning came when Arizona starter Zack Godley walked Jedd Gyorko with the bases loaded to bring home Matt Carpenter. Godley tossed seven innings and struck out seven to earn a quality start.
"I think Zack Godley was once again really superb," Lovullo said. "Seven quality innings and 108 pitches. It was just one inning he ran into some problems and you've gotta give the Cardinals some credit for being patient and waiting him out, doing the types of things they needed to do to score some runs.
"We played catch up all night and unfortunately just came up a little short in the end."
The D-backs put themselves in position to capture a walk-off win for the second straight night, but came up one hit short. Trevor Rosenthal walked two batters, threw two wild pitches and allowed a run to score, but the D-backs left to end the game.
"We needed somebody to come in today and get the job done and close the door," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He's done it a lot. We know he has the stuff to do it. He trusted himself and stayed with it and guys made a couple plays to get him out."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Goldy goes down swinging: The D-backs had an opportunity to grab some early momentum against Wainwright when they loaded the bases with one out in the third. But David Peralta's flyout to left wasn't deep enough to push across the game's first run, and Wainwright followed by striking out Goldschmidt on the a high fastball, the seventh pitch of the at-bat.
"He's one of the best hitters in baseball," Wainwright said. "He's very, very, very good. He crushes mistakes. Sometimes he hits good pitches. His bat path is just very in the zone. That was a big out for us right there." Goldschmidt finished the game 0-for-4 and saw his franchise-best home on-base streak end at 42 games.
Missed opportunity: Matheny turned to a new closer on Wednesday, and just narrowly avoided the same result. Rosenthal allowed the D-backs to pull within one, and walked the potential winning run with two out. But he got Peralta to ground out on a 100.4 mph fastball to leave runners stranded on the corners. The save was Rosenthal's fourth this season and first since May 2.
"It's not always pretty, but it's good to get it done," Rosenthal said. "I'm always ready and just approach every outing the same." More >>
"Sometimes you make a drastic change and it starts you back at square one. I've known from in the past that you have to make slow, little tweaks, not big ones, because then you're just back to where you were before. That's what I did, and I feel like it's coming together." -- Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil, on his run of 10 straight scoreless appearances
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Molina extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a 1-for-3 performance on Wednesday. He currently owns the longest active hitting streak in the majors. His longest hitting streak of the season is 16 games, which matched the longest streak of his career.
In the top of the fourth, Cardinals right fielder Stephen Piscotty was hit in the hand by a pitch from Godley. The D-backs challenged the call claiming that the pitch hit Piscotty's bat, rather than his hand. After brief review the call stood, and Piscotty was awarded first base.
Cardinals: The Cardinals' series in Arizona concludes on Thursday with a 2:40 p.m. CT game at Chase Field. Lance Lynn, who allowed seven runs in each of his last two starts, will be looking to improve his record against the D-backs to 4-0. Lynn has a 2.72 career ERA against Arizona.
D-backs: Arizona will look to bounce back and take the series when they close out against the Cardinals at 12:40 p.m. MST on Thursday. Arizona will send Patrick Corbin to the mound, who is 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA in his last three starts. Arizona is 15-9 in series finales this season.
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Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.
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.