Wainwright pitches Cardinals past Cubs

Jack McCarthy, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


CHICAGO -- Adam Wainwright got his groove back on Sunday.
The St. Louis right-hander snapped a four-start winless skid, giving up just one run on five hits while striking out 11 as the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1 in the finale of a three-game weekend series.
"That was as good as he's been all season," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He came out first and established all of his pitches and had great life. His curve ball was a sharp as we've seen and that made the difference and set the tone."
Wainwright (14-7) also ended an six-start winless streak against the Cubs, dating back to 2010. He walked just one and the 11 strikeouts were just one away from matching a season high.
"From an early standpoint I wanted to set the tempo, I wanted to be in command of my stuff but also in command of the pace of the game," Wainwright said. "I wanted to let everybody on the field to know I was in charge out there."
Jon Jay went 2-for-3, doubled home one run and added a three-run homer in the seventh while Matt Carpenter went 1-for-4 and drove in two runs with a second-inning single.
Wainwright, the National League pitcher of the month for June, was 1-2 with two no-decisions since the All-Star break.
"He's always good," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. "He knows how to pitch, nothing overpowering. He was just himself today."
Cubs starter Edwin Jackson (7-13) pitched six innings and allowed one earned run on six hits, walked four and struck out three.
"I challenged them and we came out to be aggressive," Jackson said. "But there are some times when I (should) get ahead in the counts earlier in the game and save myself some pitches and enable myself to go later in the game.
The Cardinals scored three runs in the second. Yadier Molina, who reached on a one-out double, came home on Jay's two-base hit.
Kolten Wong then sent a long fly to center and reached second on Junior Lake's error while Jay moved to third. Daniel Descalso was intentionally walked to load the bases.
After Wainwright flew out to short left, Carpenter bounced a single up the middle to score Jay and Wong for a 3-0 lead.
"That dropped fly ball kind of led to some things and it could have been a different game," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
The Cubs scored once in the sixth when David DeJesus walked with one out and came home on Lake's single to center. Wainwright struck out Anthony Rizzo to escape the inning.
Chicago reliever Carlos Villanueva relieved Jackson in the seventh but lasted one-third of an inning. He walked Allen Craig and gave up a one-out double to Molina.
Jay then clubbed his sixth home run of the season off left-hander reliever James Russell for a 6-1 lead.
After giving up back-to-back base hits in the seventh Wainwright worked out of a jam striking out Donnie Murphy, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney.
Sveum and Russell were both ejected after arguing the third strike call on Murphy with home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi, claiming it was a check-swing.
"That's easily the worst check-swing call I've ever seen," Sveum said. "That's why the other umpires are there -- to give him help. He said he thought he got it right."
In the eight, Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist walked DeJesus and gave up a single to Lake. But Rizzo flew out to left and Holliday fired a perfect strike to Molina to tag DeJesus for an inning-ending double play.
Right-hander Trevor Rosenthal walked two Cubs batters with two out in the ninth but Barney flew out to center to end the game.
Castro was back in the lineup following a mental miscue in Saturday's 7-0 loss that led Sveum to yank him. Castro apologized for failing to pay attention after catching a popup in short left field, allowing the Cardinals to score.
NOTES: Jeff Samardzija (6-11, 4.29 ERA) makes his team-leading 26th start of the season Monday when the Cubs open a four-game home series with Washington. ... Chicago left-hander Travis Wood needs seven strikeouts to hit 400 for his career. He's scheduled to pitch again on Thursday against the Nationals. ... The Cubs and Cardinals wrapped up the Wrigley Field part of their season series. The teams will play a final three-game set on Sept. 27-29 to end the regular season. ... The Cardinals finished 5-4 at Wrigley Field for 2013 and have a 3-4 mark at Busch Stadium. ... St. Louis captured two of three from the Cubs for their second consecutive series win, something they haven't done since winning two series after the All-Star break. ... Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he'll stick with starter Jake Westbrook despite allowing 29 hits and 24 earned runs in his last 21 3/4 innings. Westbrook is scheduled to start on Wednesday in Milwaukee.