ST. LOUIS -- After stunning the Blue Jays with eight late-inning runs to steal a victory in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader, the Cardinals' offense continued rolling early in the nightcap to build a lead Toronto couldn't fully chip away. St. Louis completed the doubleheader sweep with a 6-4
ST. LOUIS -- After stunning the Blue Jays with eight late-inning runs to steal a victory in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader, the Cardinals' offense continued rolling early in the nightcap to build a lead Toronto couldn't fully chip away. St. Louis completed the doubleheader sweep with a 6-4 win to pull back to .500 following a 3-9 season start.
The Cardinals pounced on rookie Casey Lawrence to build a six-run lead through four innings. William Fowler opened the first with a single and came around to score in the team's three-run frame. He added a solo homer in his next at-bat. Matt Adams contributed a pair of run-scoring hits, and Stephen Piscotty drove in two with productive outs.
"We needed to come out and make a good mark early," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Guys came out and took great at-bats. Overall, it's just a good day. We walk [out of] here with two wins today having our back against the wall in the first one, that's impressive. I think it shows a lot about these guys." More >
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The start was likely Lawrence's last in the Blue Jays' rotation for now, as he is expected to be bumped when Aaron Sanchez returns from the disabled list. Lawrence's ability to gut through five innings did help minimize the wear on a Blue Jays bullpen that had to use six pitchers in the afternoon game.
"Probably about the only positive is to get out there and grinding away through five," Lawrence said. "Other than that, I'm pretty disappointed with it. Kind of reflect on it here the next couple of hours and then move on." More >
With his 6 1/3 innings, Adam Wainwright had the longest start of his season. Aside from serving up a three-run homer to Kendrys Morales in the fifth, it looked like one of his best. Four of the nine hits Wainwright allowed came in that inning.
"[If] he doesn't hit a three-run homer right there, I make the pitch I want to, I'm going to go at least seven innings," Wainwright said. "Our offense did an outstanding job early. My teammates gave me a chance to go out there and get ahead of guys and pound the zone, which is what I should do all the time."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Super sub: Drawing his second start at first base, Adams tallied his first multihit and multi-RBI game of the season. He capped the Cardinals' three-run first inning with an RBI double, the first of three hits Adams drove the opposite way off Lawrence. He then pushed the Cardinals ahead, 5-0, with a third-inning RBI single. Adams entered the game with five hits in his first 29 at-bats.
"I think it just shows me that my timing was where it needed to be that game," Adams said of spraying the ball to left field. "I was staying on my back side and letting the ball get to where it needed to get to for me to swing at it. This was a game where I picked up the ball pretty well."
Leave 'em stranded: The Blue Jays had an opportunity to answer the Cardinals' three-run first but couldn't dent the scoreboard after loading the bases with one out. Lawrence grounded a ball back to Wainwright, who completed the forceout at home. A flyout by Kevin Pillar ended the threat.
"It could have been a good day, didn't finish too good," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, whose team blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning of the twin-bill opener. "Tough first ballgame and then we fell behind early. They hit Lawrence around a little bit. Made a run with the big home run to close within two, but that's all we could do after that. A long, tough day, no doubt."
"We haven't even come close to playing the best baseball we can play, and I know these guys believe that, too. I think we've seen some really good starting pitching. I think we've seen our bullpen come around. But as far as the rest on the consistent basis -- the kind of offensive production we know we can have, the kind of defense we will be -- I know there's more there, and these guys do, too. That's what we're searching for. -- Matheny, whose club has won eight of its last 10 games
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Morales' three-run homer off Wainwright in the fifth inning gave him career RBI No. 600.
• Ezequiel Carrera extending his hitting streak to seven games, which ties his career high, after going 1-for-4.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Cardinals used up their challenge in the second inning when they were unsuccessful in trying to use replay to overturn a safe call at first. Lawrence hustled down the line to try and avoid an inning-ending double play and was ruled safe by umpire Clint Fagan. The call stood, but it hardly mattered, as Wainwright retired the next batter to finish a scoreless inning.
Blue Jays: Toronto returns home to open a three-game series against the Rays on Friday night at Rogers Centre. Right-hander Marcus Stroman (2-2, 3.10 ERA) will take the mound in the series opener against Tampa Bay lefty Blake Snell (0-2, 3.38 ERA) with first pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET. Stroman is coming off a complete-game victory over the Angels in which he allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits.
Cardinals: The Cardinals welcome the Reds to town for a three-game series that begins with a 7:15 p.m. CT game on Friday. Right-hander Lance Lynn (2-1, 2.70 ERA) will start the opener against Cincinnati's Tim Adleman (0-0, 2.70 ERA). With three strikeouts, Lynn will tied Vinegar Bend Mizell for 12th all-time in franchise history.
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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.