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Wainwright leads Cardinals to fourth straight win

Apr 5, 2008 - 10:19 PM By Jim Walsh PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Adam Wainwright threw eight strong innings and the St. Louis Cardinals survived a ninth-inning charge to post a 5-4 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday.

It was the first start of the year for the 26-year-old Wainwright, whose Opening Day start against Colorado was washed out in the third inning.

With the aid of some solid defense behind him, the righthander allowed eight hits and two runs, walking one with four strikeouts in his 107-pitch outing. It was Wainwright's (1-0) first win against the Nationals in five career outings.

"I like everything about him," St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of his staff ace. "He pitched very well, he did a lot of good things to get through eight innings."

"I was starting to feel really comfortable out there," added Wainwright, who lowered his ERA against the Nationals to 2.59. "I started to feel like I could locate whatever I wanted to. It was fun."

With the Cardinals leading, 5-2, in the ninth, reliever Anthony Reyes surrendered a one-out, two-run homer to Jesus Flores to make it interesting.

But Reyes retired Aaron Boone before Randy Flores came in to shut the door, getting Cristian Guzman on a fly to center and earn his first save of the season.

The Cardinals, who won their fourth straight game, got on the board in the second inning against Washington starter Matt Chico.

With two out, Wainwright helped his own cause with a ground-ball single to center to score Yadier Molina. Cesar Izturis followed with a line drive to left, plating Adam Kennedy for a 2-0 lead.

Molina doubled the St. Louis advantage in the third inning with a two-out, two-run single, pushing the lead to 4-0.

"The (Cardinals') bottom part of the order kind of killed us," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "And then we just couldn't do much against Wainwright."

It was the second shaky start for Chico, who lasted six innings against the Cardinals, surrendering four runs with eight hits. He struck out five and walked two. The lefthander gave up three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings at Philadelphia on Monday.

"I felt good," Chico said. "It's just the mistakes I made, they capitalized on. After the four runs I had to calm down, just go on with it and try to keep the team in the game."

Still it could have been a different outcome for Chico if not for a stellar play by Kennedy at second base to squelch a potential Nationals rally in the fourth.

Ryan Zimmerman doubled with one out and scored on Nick Johnson's single. Austin Kearns followed with a hard grounder up the middle that Kennedy snagged as he dove onto the grass in center field and tossed to Izturis to nab the sliding Johnson for the second out.

"It was an important play as far as what it did for (Wainwright) past that," Kennedy said. "He made a note to say he appreciated it. It's good to be able to help out."

Ronnie Belliard followed with a single and Felipe Lopez walked to load the bases before Wainwright finally settled down and got Flores to ground out to end the inning.

Johnson ended the day with three hits, including a solo home run in the eighth to cut the deficit to 4-2.

St. Louis scored its fifth run on a passed ball by Flores in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Kennedy from third.

It was the third straight defeat for Washington, which opened the season with three wins.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 4 10 0
    ST LOUIS 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 x 5 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - MATT CHICO, JESUS COLOME (7TH), RAY KING (8TH) AND JESUS
    FLORES
    STL - ADAM WAINWRIGHT, ANTHONY REYES (9TH), RANDY
    FLORES (9TH) AND YADIER MOLINA

    HOME RUNS:

    Apr 5 4:05 PM
  • 40
    roots
    blueeyes Added 5 roots

    Nationals 4, Cardinals 5  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 5 4:03 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JESUS FLORES (1) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF ANTHONY REYES SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4, ST LOUIS 5
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R KING (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Nationals 4, Cardinals 5  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 5 3:57 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Nationals 4, Cardinals 5  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 5 3:57 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    PASSED BALL BY JESUS FLORES ALLOWED ADAM KENNEDY TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C IZTURIS ON FIRST, T WELLEMEYER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    ST LOUIS 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S SCHUMAKER (.000, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Nationals 2, Cardinals 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 5 3:47 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY NICK JOHNSON (1) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF ADAM WAINWRIGHT.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2, ST LOUIS 4
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.300, 0-FOR-3)

    Nationals 2, Cardinals 4  Top 8, 0 OutsApr 5 3:28 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NICK JOHNSON SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N JOHNSON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    ST LOUIS 4 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.333, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 1, Cardinals 4  Top 4, 0 OutsApr 5 2:11 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YADIER MOLINA SCORED RICK ANKIEL AND ALBERT
    PUJOLS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, Y MOLINA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    ST LOUIS 4 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A KENNEDY (.375, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 0, Cardinals 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsApr 5 2:00 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CESAR IZTURIS SCORED ADAM KENNEDY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C IZTURIS ON FIRST, A WAINWRIGHT ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    ST LOUIS 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: B BARTON (.429, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals 0, Cardinals 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 5 1:41 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM WAINWRIGHT SCORED YADIER MOLINA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A WAINWRIGHT ON FIRST, A KENNEDY ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    ST LOUIS 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: C IZTURIS (.182, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Nationals 0, Cardinals 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 5 1:39 PM