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Wainwright, Cards top Giants

Aug 9, 2012 - 11:28 PM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Adam Wainwright left the mound with a smile following the seventh inning.

It would have been hard not to smile after he looked like the Cy Young Award candidate he once was in the Cardinals' 3-1 win over the Giants.

Wainwright (10-10), coming off a complete game against Milwaukee, held the Giants to one run on five hits and struck out seven in seven innings. The 30- year-old, who missed all of 2011 following Tommy John surgery, is now 3-1 in his last five starts with a 1.75 earned run average and has lowered his ERA below four for the first time since April 7.

"Working off a good-located fastball, you can do a whole lot of stuff with your off-speed stuff," Wainwright said. "It starts with that good heater, down in the zone. It's still the best pitch in baseball."

"He knows how to pitch," Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro said. "He doesn't miss his spot very often. He worked both sides of the plate very good with the sinker, cutter, curveball."

Jon Jay picked up his fourth straight multi-hit game and scored a run for the Cardinals, who have won five of their last seven and salvaged a four-game split.

Madison Bumgarner (12-7) tossed his sixth straight quality start but could not outduel Wainwright. The left-hander gave up three runs on three hits and struck out seven in six innings of work.

Carlos Beltran put the Cardinals ahead in the first inning. After Jay led off with a base hit, Beltran laced a 2-1 slider over the left-field fence to spot St. Louis a two-run lead.

The Giants put together a rally in the fifth inning. Joaquin Arias and Bumgarner delivered back-to-back singles before Angel Pagan walked to load the bases with one out. Wainwright was able to minimize the damage, though, with the help of Jay. Marco Scutaro hit a fly ball to right-center field. Jay raced from center field to make a sliding catch and hold the Giants to a sacrifice fly. Wainwright then got Melky Cabrera to pop out to end the inning and preserve the lead.

St. Louis tacked on an insurance run in the sixth. Jay led off with a double to left-center field, swiped third and scored on Allen Craig's sac fly to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.

"He made things happen today," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Getting on base for [Beltran] early, and then the double later on and stealing third to give [Craig] a chance to drive him in, it was a good day. We can never ignore what he does in the outfield too, he made some big plays for us, again."

Mitchell Boggs tossed a perfect eighth and Jason Motte worked around a two-out walk to earn his 25th save of the season.

Game Notes

Over his last four games, Jay is 10-for-15...The Giants were held off the board in the first inning for the first time in their last seven games overall and eight road games...Buster Posey went 1-for-3 and has hit safely in 13 straight games and 22 of 24 games since the All-Star break (41- for-92)...Wainwright won his third straight decision...In his last four starts at Busch Stadium, Wainwright is 4-0 with a 1.55 ERA (five earned runs in 29 1/3 innings)...The Giants went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight.