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Wainwright impressive in first start

Apr 7, 2007 - 6:00 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Adam Wainwright was the pitching, hitting and defensive star in his first start in over a season.

Wainwright pitched seven strong innings, added a key hit and fielding gem as the St. Louis Cardinals posted a 4-2 victory over the winless Houston Astros.

Chris Duncan homered and drove in three runs for the Cardinals, who were outscored, 20-2, in losing three games to the New York Mets to open the season.

Wainwright (1-0), who became a household name last fall when he took over the closer's role in September after Jason Isringhausen underwent hip surgery, did not allow a run in the postseason and closed out the World Series-clinching Game Five against Detroit.

"There were times when I was rushing a bit, but for the most part, I felt comfortable out there," Wainwright said. "When I wasn't comfortable, I was able to make adjustments. I just wanted to keep us in the game. I'm just happy we got the win."

With Isringhausen healthy, the 6-7 Wainwright moved back to his natural role as a starter this campaign and pitched well in his season debut, yielding just a run and five hits. He walked three and struck out four.

"Adam was outstanding. He made so many good pitches," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He's maturing as a pitcher, and he moves the ball well."

Wainwright also helped himself at the plate, doubling in a run off Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez in the third. He scored on a two-run blast by Duncan, who added an RBI double in the eighth for a 4-1 lead.

Duncan also had a double in the sixth but was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple.

"I felt good. I finally got to see some pitches," Duncan said. "I was seeing (Rodriguez) a little better as the game went along.

"He got into some counts on me. The home run was a 2-1 pitch and the other hit (sixth inning double) was on a 3-2 pitch. "It helps my confidence. More importantly, it was good to get a win."

Wainwright also started the defensive gem of the night - a 1-2-3 double play off an attempted squeeze play - that snuffed out an Astros rally.

Houston had runners on first and second with none out in the sixth inning, but Astros catcher Brad Ausmus bunted the ball toward the mound. Wainwright immediately charged the ball, scooped it home for Yadier Molina's tag on Chris Burke. Molina then fired to first to nip Ausmus.

The twin-killing preserved a 3-1 Cardinal lead.

"I was really lucky. You just react on that play," Wainwright said. "I've never seen it happen (out at home on a squeeze play). And then Yadi (Molina) makes a 98 mile-per-hour throw to first base. I mean, that's the game right there."

Ryan Franklin and Randy Flores split the eighth and Isringhausen worked around a two-out RBI single by Orlando Palmeiro in the ninth to notch his first save.

Houston's punchless offense has Astros manager Phil Garner frustrated.

"I think we've hit the dog days of April already," Garner said. "We're just not having good at-bats at all. "We'll keep the nose to the grindstone and keep working."

Houston has started 0-4 for the first time since 1990.

Rodriguez (0-1) pitched well, allowing three runs and four hits in seven frames.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 6 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - ADAM WAINWRIGHT, RYAN FRANKLIN (8TH), RANDY FLORES (8TH),
    JASON ISRINGHAUSEN (9TH) AND YADIER MOLINA
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ, TREVER MILLER (8TH), RICK WHITE
    (

    Apr 6 10:47 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ORLANDO PALMEIRO SCORED CARLOS LEE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, O PALMEIRO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: B AUSMUS (.125, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosApr 6 10:45 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY CHRIS DUNCAN SCORED SCOTT SPIEZIO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C DUNCAN ON SECOND, D ECKSTEIN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    HOUSTON 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.077, 0-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosApr 6 10:13 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: M Loretta hit for W Rodriguez.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, A EVERETT ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M Loretta (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Apr 6 9:54 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 4 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 3 0 (BOT 7)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - ADAM WAINWRIGHT
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C BURKE (.214, 0-FOR-2)
    A EVERETT (.250, 0-FOR-2)
    B AUSMUS (.143, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Apr 6 9:45 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 3 0 3 3 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 (TOP 5)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - ADAM WAINWRIGHT
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ

    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S TAGUCHI (.286, 1-FOR-1)
    A KENNEDY (.125, 0-FOR-1)
    A WAINWRIGHT (1.000, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Apr 6 9:14 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CHRIS DUNCAN (1) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF WANDY RODRIGUEZ SCORED ADAM WAINWRIGHT.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3, HOUSTON 0
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.091, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosApr 6 8:52 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 0 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 0 (BOT 2)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - ADAM WAINWRIGHT
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L SCOTT (.400, 1 HR, 2 RBI)
    C BURKE (.250, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
    A EVERETT (.300, 0 HR, 0 R

    Apr 6 8:32 PM