Wainwright returns to form in 9-1 win over Brewers - KMOV.com

Wainwright returns to form in 9-1 win over Brewers

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MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 7: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches a complete game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 7, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) By Tom Lynn MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 7: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches a complete game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 7, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) By Tom Lynn
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 7:  Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches to a Milwaukee Brewers batter at Miller Park on September 7, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) By Tom Lynn MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 7: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches to a Milwaukee Brewers batter at Miller Park on September 7, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) By Tom Lynn
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 7:  Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches to a Milwaukee Brewers batter at Miller Park on September 7, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) By Tom Lynn MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 7: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches to a Milwaukee Brewers batter at Miller Park on September 7, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) By Tom Lynn
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 7: Scooter Gennett #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers lines out to left against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park on September 7, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) By Tom Lynn MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 7: Scooter Gennett #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers lines out to left against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park on September 7, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) By Tom Lynn
MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 7: Matt Adams #32 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a sacrifice fly against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 7, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) By Tom Lynn MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 7: Matt Adams #32 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a sacrifice fly against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 7, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) By Tom Lynn

MILWAUKEE - As it has so many times during the last nine games, Sunday's finale at Miller Park came down to a handful of pitches. 

And as it has gone for both clubs lately, most of them went the Cardinals way in a 9-1 win. 

The day belonged to Adam Wainwright who, combined with superior defensive positioning, frustrated Milwaukee all day. 

"We needed our ace to step up in this big game and that's what he did," said Cards skipper Mike Matheny. 

"We've been saying he is close (to returning to form) and today he was locating his fastball and his curveball was there when he needed it."

Wainwright agreed. "I felt good today. I threw mostly fastballs and worked off of that. (Derek Lilliquist) said he could tell after a few pitches in the bullpen that I was going to have a good day."

Wainwright said all of his pitches had a better "finish," the result of incremental improvements he has noticed over his last few bullpen sessions. 

He was also able to log his 20th complete game, although he was on a "short leash" in the ninth when the Brewers scored their only run. Matheny walked to the mound after three of the first four Brewers reached. "I told him I felt fine," Wainwright said. Two pitches later it was over and the Cards, who trailed Milwaukee by a game just a week ago, left town with a five game lead. They have now won eight of the last nine games and are 6-1 in September. 

Johnny Peralta continued to torment the Brewers, slamming his 20th home run of the year and his 1500th hit of his career. Peralta is hitting over .430 at Miller Park and over .350 against them overall.  But it wasn't just Peralta who dismantled the Brewers. 

Peter Bourjos tripled home two runs and scored another, Matt Carpenter knocked in two and Oscar  Taveras another.

The Brewers wholesale collapse (losers of 12 of the last 13) continued with three errors.

But even more frustrating for Milwaukee were the line drives, long fly balls and sterling defensive work turned by the Redbirds.  

Bourjos chased down a 395-foot fly ball and one line shot ricocheted off Matt Adams glove and came down in his mitt. The Brewers also hit into double plays to kill rallies and could not mount a serious threat against Wainwright (17-9).

Matheny credited coaches Jose Oquendo and Chris Maloney, as well as data collectors in the Cardinals front office for helping the club position players based on past performance. 

"Guys in the dugout have really bought into it," Matheny said.  After plays in which Redbirds defenders are right on the spot where the ball is hit, Matheny said players will congratulate their coaches. 

"We took three of four from a very good team," Matheny said. "It feels good but we've got another big game tomorrow."

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