ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals paid tribute to the 2006 World Series championship team on Saturday at Busch Stadium, and one of the star performers then remains an imposing pitcher today. The difference now is Adam Wainwright is in a different role.Wainwright, who closed out the World Series clincher a
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals paid tribute to the 2006 World Series championship team on Saturday at Busch Stadium, and one of the star performers then remains an imposing pitcher today. The difference now is Adam Wainwright is in a different role.
Wainwright, who closed out the World Series clincher a decade ago, served a reminder that he remains formidable these days as a starter. The veteran right-hander flirted with a no-hitter through five innings on his way to a three-hit shutout in the Cardinals' 5-0 win over the Marlins.
"It was good timing, with the boys up top [in a suite]," Wainwright said. "It was good to see them before the game and fun to deliver for them as well."
Wainwright, who threw a season-high 120 pitches, logged his 22nd career complete game and 10th shutout. It was his first shutout since Sept. 17, 2014, against the Brewers.
"He had a little room where he could be aggressive and made pitches when he had to," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "That was vintage Wainwright."
Stephen Piscotty had a two-run double in a four-run third inning off Tom Koehler, and Jhonny Peralta homered off Mike Dunn in the fifth. Behind Wainwright's third straight win, the Cardinals rebounded after Friday's 7-6 loss and snapped Miami's four-game winning streak.
"It was huge," Piscotty said of Wainwright's gem. "He's had several starts over this last stretch that have really been big wins for us. He's come up multiple times and done that. He's our guy."
Wainwright didn't allow a hit until Adeiny Hechavarria's double on a 74-mph curveball on a 2-2 pitch to left-center to open the sixth inning, but by then, the Cardinals were ahead by five runs.
"I think a lot of it has to do with their guy," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I think early on it's a little tough seeing. You get behind, and guys want to make something happen, and you start trying to create things. It seems like he used that aggressiveness against us. He does a really nice job of changing speeds to both sides of the plate, making you absolutely work up there to get yourself a good pitch to hit."
St. Louis broke through when the first five batters reached in the third inning. Tommy Pham started things off with a double, and after a walk to Aledmys Díaz, Piscotty collected his two-run double. Randal Grichuk's RBI double and Adams' RBI single capped the inning's output.
"I think what we want to do more than anything is play a solid, more crisp game all the time in the second half, and just see what happens," Wainwright said. "I think it will work out really well in our favor."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Shutout preserved: Wainwright allowed a leadoff double in the sixth and seventh innings to Hechavarria and Christian Yelich, respectively. He retired the next three batters he faced in each inning, including a strikeout looking against Giancarlo Stanton, who also grounded out to second to seal the shutout. More >
Stanton's saving catches: Stanton, who has heated up in July with five homers, made an impact with a couple of diving plays in right field. With runners on first and second and two outs in the first inning, Matt Adams laced a sinking liner toward the line, and Stanton, in full stride, dove headfirst to make a great catch and save a pair of runs. In the fourth inning, Diaz hit the ball in a similar spot with a runner on first and one out, and Stanton again left his feet to make the grab.
"You look at the four [runs Koehler allowed], and you say he only gave up four, but 'G' saves runs, possibly a couple times," Mattingly said. More >
Doubling down: The Cardinals had three doubles in the big third inning. It was the fourth time this season St. Louis had three doubles in one inning, and the first time at home since April 11, against the Brewers.
"Great job of situational hitting where we have three at-bats in a row with a guy on second and nobody out and the guys didn't just give themselves up," Matheny said. "They went up and took solid at-bats and ended up with four runs."
Hechavarria plays spoiler, dazzles: The Marlins have been no-hit four times in their history, most recently against Jordan Zimmermann, then with the Nationals, on the final day of the 2014 season. Wainwright threatened to make history of his own until Hechavarria's double.
"Since I saw he was throwing a no-hitter, I told myself I need to get a hit on this guy," Hechavarria said in Spanish. "I can't let him get a no-hitter on us."
Hechavarria had two of Miami's three hits -- with his second hit, a comeback shot that deflected off Wainwright's foot for a single in the eighth -- and he made a sensational diving catch in the third.
"Right now, when I execute a pitch, it seems like it's getting hit. When I don't, it seems like it's really getting hit. I'm throwing enough strikes, it's not like I'm falling behind hitters. I'm not putting them away, and not executing the pitches that I need to later in the at-bats." -- Koehler, who has a 7.88 ERA over 16 innings in his last four starts
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Marlins, who have four players in the lineup batting higher than .300, were shut out for just the fourth time this year. The last was on June 12, at Arizona.
Marlins: The series wraps up on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. ET, with lefty Adam Conley (6-5, 3.62 ERA) making his 19th start. Conley, who has never faced the Cardinals, is 3-2 with a 3.93 ERA on the road.
Cardinals: Michael Wacha (5-7, 4.36 ERA) will face the Marlins for the first time in his career. He is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA over his last six starts. First pitch is slated for 1:15 p.m. CT.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.