Wainwright stellar in win to reclaim division lead over Pirates - KMOV.com

Wainwright stellar in win to reclaim division lead over Pirates

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By Scott Bierman By Scott Bierman

(BaseballStL) -- Adam Wainwright proved his recent struggles weren’t due to a health issue rather a case of tipping pitches as indicated prior to Saturday’s start against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Entering with a 4.50 ERA in two previous starts versus Pittsburgh this season, Wainwright dazzled the 45,110 fans in attendance by throwing seven scoreless innings in a 5-0 win to take a half game lead over the visiting Pirates.

Wainwright was the old Wainwright after stranding a leadoff double to Andrew McCutchen and a walk to Justin Morneau in the fourth inning. A double play and a strikeout left the runner on third base to keep it a scoreless game at the time. The Cardinals would add two runs with a sacrifice fly by David Freese and an infield single by Pete Kozma in the bottom half of the inning.

In total, Wainwright allowed only two hits and two walks -- a far cry from the 15 runs allowed on 17 hits in the previous eight innings pitched in his last two outings. Both of those starts came against the Cincinnati Reds, who won 4-3 in the tenth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers hours earlier.

It was also a history-making night for the right-hander.

An inning-ending strikeout to recently acquired first baseman Morneau in the first gave him No. 1,096 as a member of the Cardinals and moved him past Dizzy Dean for second in franchise history. The Cardinals ace struck out eight total batters, including the final four batters faced (McCutchen, Morneau, Marlon Byrd and Pedro Alvarez).

The scoreless outing reduced his earned-run average from 3.14 to 3.03. He threw 100 total pitches, 68 for strikes.

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