ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Adam Wainwright threw eight sharp innings and Jason Motte struck out Adam Rosales with the tying run in scoring position, preserving the St. Louis Cardinals' 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.
Ryan Franklin started the ninth but left after Ryan Sweeney's RBI single got the A's within two. Motte struck out Kevin Kouzmanoff and got Mark Ellis to fly out before Gabe Gross singled in a run.
With runners on first and second, Rosales swung and missed for strike three, giving Motte his second save in two opportunities.
Matt Holliday homered and drove in three runs for the second straight day for St. Louis, which has won four of five and will go for a three-game sweep on Sunday. Skip Schumaker had two hits for a two-game total of five, and Albert Pujols drew his major league-leading 20th intentional walk in the fifth.
Wainwright (10-4) gave up an unearned run and five hits for his 22nd consecutive quality start at home, three more than any other pitcher in major league history. He is 7-0 with a 1.64 ERA this season at home, averaging nearly eight innings in seven starts. He lowered his overall ERA to 2.23.
Holliday hit a tiebreaking RBI double off the base of the wall in left-center in the fifth and a two-run homer off Ben Sheets (2-7) in the seventh that made it 4-1. Holliday, who batted second for the fifth straight game, had endured a career-worst 43 at-bat RBI drought before homering and driving in three runs on Friday.
Sheets pitched seven innings, matching a season high, and allowed four runs and six hits, falling to 6-15 with a 4.09 ERA against St. Louis. He also dropped to 0-5 with a 6.95 ERA on the road, compared to 2-2 with a 2.79 ERA at home.
Oakland is a season-low four games below .500 after losing four straight and seven of eight.
Wainwright gave up a leadoff double to Rajai Davis and hit Conor Jackson with one out in the first. Catcher Yadier Molina sailed a throw into left field when Davis swiped third, allowing the speedster to take home.
Molina saved a hit in the seventh, pouncing on Mark Ellis' squibber and throwing him out by a step.
The start of the game was delayed 15 minutes so Sheets had enough time to warm up following a storm earlier in the day and just minutes after the grounds crew watered the infield. The tarp was removed about a half-hour before the scheduled game time and the field was dry.
NOTES: Cardinals RHP Brad Penny (upper back) was pain-free a day after playing catch but the team has yet to schedule a bullpen session. ... Holliday's line drive homer to straightaway center Friday night broke a young female fan's nose.
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