Cardinals beat Diamondbacks 4-2

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ST. LOUIS (AP)—The recipe to reach the posteason, Arizona manager Bob Melvin said, is simple: “We just have to win. We need to win out and hopefully get a lot of help.”

Adam Wainwright pitched out of two bases-loaded jams and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Arizona 4-2 on Wednesday night to dampen the Diamondbacks’ playoff hopes.

The Diamondbacks, who stranded 11 runners, fell four games behind first-place Los Angeles in the NL West. The Dodgers, who beat San Diego 12-4 on Wednesday, clinched at least a tie for the division title.

“Until there is an asterisk by your name, you’ve got to play each game and win each game,” Melvin said.

Arizona’s Mark Reynolds struck out once to tie the major league record for strikeouts in a season with 199. Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard set the mark last season.

“I ain’t got it yet,” Reynolds said about the record. “Talk to me when I get it.”

Wainwright (11-3) pitched into the seventh inning, allowing seven hits and five walks. Wainwright, 7-1 at home this year, has won his last six decisions and hasn’t lost since June 2. He was sidelined from June 8 to Aug. 22 by a middle finger sprain.

“I missed so much time in the middle of the season, this is sort of like my middle of the season,” Wainwright said. “I was fighting my body all night long but I was able to make some pitches when I needed to.”

Ryan Franklin pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 24 chances.

Arizona rookie Max Scherzer (0-4) pitched for the first time in his hometown and didn’t help himself with a two-run throwing error in the second inning. A first-round draft pick in 2006, Scherzer lasted five innings, allowing seven hits and four runs, two earned.

“This hurts,” Scherzer said. “We really needed a win tonight.”

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa loaded up with left-handers, leaving Albert Pujols, Troy Glaus and Ryan Ludwick out of the starting lineup.

“You can play that kind of lineup if you have a guaranteed contract for next year,” La Russa quipped. “The three guys we rested were on fumes.”

In the second, Josh Phelps singled and Mark Johnson walked. Wainwright put down a bunt but Scherzer threw away from second baseman David Eckstein at first, allowing both runners to score for a 2-0 lead.

“I slowed down a little bit and it kind of sailed out of my hand enough for Eckstein not to be able to make a great play on it,” Scherzer said. “You’ve got to make sure you put a good throw on one like that.”

Arizona got even in the third. Scherzer led off with a walk and went to third on Stephen Drew’s double. An RBI single by Chris Young and a double play groundout by Conor Jackson tied it at 2.

The Cardinals went ahead 3-2 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Cesar Izturis. In the fifth, Adam Kennedy’s single scored Aaron Miles for a 4-2 lead.

Notes

Pitcher Chris Carpenter said after the game he saw a specialist earlier Wednesday and along with St. Louis team physician George Paletta. “They both seemed to agree on what’s going on,” Carpenter said. “There’s a difference of opinion on treatment and how to take care of the issue.” Carpenter has a compressed nerve in his shoulder, and more opinions will be sought before action is taken. … Cardinals reliever Randy Flores, who’s been hampered by chronic discomfort in his shoulder, is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery Thursday. Flores, 1-0 with a 5.26 ERA in 43 games, underwent an MRI exam on Monday that detected a cyst and fraying in the labrum. The left-hander was on the 15-day disabled list earlier this season with left ankle tendinitis. … The win ensured the Cardinals their ninth winning season in their last 11 dating to 1998.

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