ST. LOUIS -- No one in the National League has won more games this year than Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis ace showed why on Sunday.
Without his best stuff or command, Wainwright still worked eight solid innings for his 13th victory as the Cardinals edged the San Diego Padres 3-2 to take the rubber game of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
Wainwright (13-5) scattered eight hits and walked two, but used three double-play balls to work out of trouble, including Will Venable's in the sixth, after the Padres put men at the corners with none out.
Wainwright also fanned seven, getting Everth Cabrera to look at a third strike to end the seventh with Logan Forsythe representing the tying run at third base.
Edward Mujica recorded his 28th save in 30 attempts as Allen Craig made a leaping catch at the wall in left to rob pinch-hitter Jedd Gyorko of what would have been at least a two-run double to end the game. St. Louis stayed two games ahead of Pittsburgh in the NL Central.
San Diego (43-56) scored in the first inning for the second straight game when Yonder Alonso, who went 3-for-4, stroked a single to center to plate Cabrera.
St. Louis (59-37) did all its work in the bottom of the third against Eric Stults (8-8). Allen Craig laced a run-scoring single to left-center, allowing him to tie Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt and Cincinnati Reds' Brandon Phillips for the NL RBI lead with 77.
On the next pitch, David Freese lined a shot to center that a diving Alexi Amarista couldn't corral. The ball bounced to the wall as Yadier Molina and Craig scored, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.
Stults toiled six innings, allowing eight hits, walking one and fanning two. The lefty threw 124 pitches.
NOTES: San Diego disabled RHP Jason Marquis (strained right elbow) Sunday and recalled RHP Miles Mikolas from Class AAA Tucson. Marquis is 9-5 with a 4.05 earned run average, but is 0-3 over his last six outings. ... The Padres will recall RHP Tyson Ross to take the vacant fifth starter's role Tuesday night in Milwaukee against the Brewers. Marquis' spot in the rotation, which is due on Wednesday night, hasn't been filled yet. ... St. Louis rested RF Carlos Beltran for Sunday's day game after a Saturday night game which lasted 3 hours and 43 minutes. CF Jon Jay also didn't start, although he entered in the seventh to play defense.