Adam Wainwright spun eight scoreless innings to become the National League’s first eight-game winner and the St. Louis Cardinals blanked the Cincinnati Reds, 4-0, in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Wainwright (8-2) struck out 12 and scattered five hits and walked one for the Cardinals, who have won nine of their last 11 games.
“That’s the epitome of pitching in my opinion,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Wainwright.
Ryan Ludwick and Zack Cozart had two hits apiece, combining for four of the six hits for Cincinnati. Mike Leake (2-4) fanned eight but allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks over six frames to garner the loss.
“He’s pitching winning baseball every time he takes the ball,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “There’s nothing he can do. He’s competing, giving us a chance to win.”
The Cardinals led 1-0 through five innings after Wainwright struck out Billy Hamilton with runners on second and third with two away. They then plated a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to pull away.
Matt Adams began the sixth with a single and Allen Craig walked before Tony Cruz’s base hit into right-center two batters later brought home Adams for a 2-0 Cardinals advantage.
Matt Carpenter banged a double into right to lead off the seventh, moved to third on Kolten Wong’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Matt Holliday’s infield single. Holliday advanced to second on the play following Devin Mesoraco’s throwing error.
He scored on Craig’s roller back up the middle to make it 4-0.
The Reds had runners at the corners with two away in the home half, but Wainwright fanned Skip Schumaker to end the threat.
Earlier, Wong’s RBI single in the third opened the scoring.