Cards’ ace in control
He came within two outs of that personal milestone, and Ryan Ludwick and Colby Rasmus homered for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 5-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.
The 27-year-old right-hander settled down after working out of bases-loaded jam in the second and didn’t allow a hit after the fourth inning until Casey McGehee’s infield hit leading off the ninth. When Corey Hart singled one out later, Cardinals manager Tony
La Russa took Wainwright out of the game.
“In the ninth inning there, I had two hits,” Wainwright said. “You make pitches and take your chances. If you’re going to have a broken bat and an infield dunker, all you can do is throw the pitch and hope for the best. I made the pitches and it didn’t work out my way.”
Wainwright (9-5) allowed seven hits, struck out nine and walked two before being lifted for Ryan Franklin, who induced Jason Kendall to hit into a double play on his second pitch.
“I know this, if I keep going out and competing and battling the way I’ve been, eventually, one day before the end of my career, I will get one shutout,” Wainwright promised after working at least six innings in each of his last 16 starts. “Today, I could have definitely done it.”
Coming into the game, he had allowed two runs and seven hits over 15 innings in two previous starts this season against Milwaukee. With the victory, he improved to 2-1. His only loss was a 1-0 defeat against Jeff Suppan in May.
Last Wednesday, Wainwright had a no-decision despite holding San Francisco to a run and six hits over nine innings as the Cardinals won in 2-1 in 10.
While Wainwright felt he still had the stuff to finish even after throwing 121 pitches,
La Russa wasn’t so sure.
“There at the end, he was at 120 and he was in a very stressful situation, so even though it wasn’t a save situation, I thought it was time to get him,” La Russa said of Franklin.
It was the fourth time this season Milwaukee has been shut out and the third time in the last nine games.
The Brewers were willing to give Wainwright credit, up to a point.
“He was good with a whole lot of help,” Mike Cameron said referring to home plate umpire Bill Hohn. “He was getting a lot of strikes that Yo (Gallardo) wasn’t. But, he’s tough.”
Yovani Gallardo (8-6) allowed four runs and six hits, walked five and struck out five in five innings.
Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum and bench coach Willie Randolph were ejected by Hohn. Sveum was tossed after arguing that Gallardo had checked his swing. Hohn did not appeal to first base umpire Bruce Dreckman and ruled that Gallardo swung, leaving the bases loaded to end the second.
Then it was Randolph who was sent packing. This time, Hohn checked with Dreckman whether the first batter in the top of the third, Albert Pujols, held up on an 0-2 pitch. Dreckman said Pujols did, which brought howls from the Brewers dugout.
Gallardo, who leads the Brewers with eight victories, failed to go at least seven innings for the first time in five starts. He dropped to 0-2 in four career starts against St. Louis.
The Cardinals staked Wainwright to a 3-0 lead in the first on Ludwick’s three-run homer and added two more on Rasmus’ homer leading off the fifth and his run-scoring double in the sixth.
“I knew the guy was hot,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “It was a tough game for us offensively and getting down 3-0 in the first inning didn’t help matters.”
Ludwick hit his 12th of the season after Rasmus singled and Pujols walked as Gallardo threw 37 pitches in the first.
Rasmus, the majors’ rookie leader in home runs and RBIs, knocked in his 33rd run with his 11th homer. He added a run-scoring double off reliever Chris Narveson in the sixth.