Adam Wainwright(notes) is among the best pitchers in baseball, but he’d like to show some consistency on the road. His first game against the punchless Toronto Blue Jays might be a good place to start.
Wainwright looks to lead the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals to a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays on Thursday night at Rogers Centre.
Wainwright (10-4, 2.23 ERA), St. Louis’ leader in wins and ERA, has been dominant at home, winning all seven starts with a 1.67 ERA. The right-hander hasn’t been able to translate that success onto the road, where he’s 3-4 with a 2.78 ERA in eight outings.
“I should start something on the road, then, shouldn’t I?” Wainwright told the team’s official website. “Home and road would be pretty good to do.”
Wainwright was superb in St. Louis (40-31) again Saturday, yielding one unearned run and five hits in eight innings of a 4-3 win over Oakland. After winning 19 games and finishing third in the NL Cy Young voting in 2009, Wainwright is almost making success look routine.
“I will never say routine because it is such a hard job,” manager Tony La Russa told the team’s official website. “I will never take it for granted, but he has just got a lot of weapons, and his concentration is terrific. I mean, from the first to the last pitch he makes, he is really grinding out there, you know? He makes a bad pitch, and he is smart enough now to make an adjustment.”
Another strong performance from Wainwright could give the Cardinals their first sweep of the Blue Jays (38-34) since taking three home games June 3-5, 2003. It could also help them increase their one-game Central lead over Cincinnati.
Wainwright will face a Toronto team that is hitting .219 during a 7-12 stretch.
Matt Holliday(notes) put St. Louis in position to sweep the Blue Jays, connecting for an RBI single in the ninth Wednesday to clinch a 1-0 win. The left fielder has been on a tear, going 13 for 22 with five homers, 11 RBIs and six runs in his last four games.
The right-hander has a 1.89 ERA over his last three outings, but has no wins and one loss to show for it after receiving four total runs of support in that span. Those problems persisted Friday, as Morrow yielded two runs in six innings but didn’t get a decision in a 3-2 win over San Francisco.
Morrow, who has never faced the Cardinals, is 0-2 with a 4.82 ERA in six career starts versus NL opponents.
Vernon Wells(notes) has been one of the few offensive bright spots for Toronto in this series, collecting four hits to match his total from the previous 12 games. Despite that, the center fielder is hitting .205 with one homer and two RBIs in 13 interleague contests.