Atlanta at St. Louis

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Atlanta (67-64)000001000171
St. Louis (63-64) «00003100x480

Wainwright shuts down Braves again for Cards in victory

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright has dominated most of his foes since the All-Star break. He's been especially tough on the team from his home state.

Wainwright, who is from St. Simon, Ga., beat Atlanta for the second straight start with seven sharp innings, Juan Encarnacion homered and the St. Louis Cardinals handed the Braves their fifth loss in six games, 4-1 on Sunday.

Wainwright is 5-2 with a 2.51 ERA in nine starts since the break. On Sunday, he held the Braves to a run and six hits with a walk and five strikeouts, a near mirror image of his July 20 victory at Atlanta, when he also held the Braves to a run and six hits in seven innings, with two walks and seven strikeouts.

"I've got a bunch of guys I keep very close contact with and they're still some of my best friends in the world over there," Wainwright said. "So, some bragging rights the last two times in my favor."

Yadier Molina and So Taguchi each drove in a run in a three-run fifth off Jo-Jo Reyes (0-2) for the Cardinals, who took two of three in the series. The defending World Series champions are one game below .500 for the second time during a 4-2 homestand. The Cardinals have not reached .500 since they were 6-6 on April 16.

"The thing about that is, all the people we were pronounced dead to were not in this clubhouse," Wainwright told reporters. "They're in here now, all of you guys are in here.

"We've still got a ways to go but we've played ourselves back into contention."

St. Louis is now two games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

"I just know we have more plusses than problems, and that hasn't been true quite a bit of the year," manager Tony La Russa said. "So we're having some fun."

Mark Teixeira had two hits and Brian McCann had an RBI single in the sixth for the Braves, who began the day a season-worst seven games back in the NL East, and are 0-7 in Reyes' starts. The Braves played without Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones, both nursing minor injuries, and remained four games behind the San Diego Padres in the wild-card race.

"It's real simple when you get right down to it," manager Bobby Cox said. "You have to win some ballgames and some other teams have to lose some, and you keep grinding."

For the second straight day, the Cardinals had a big fifth after four scoreless innings. St. Louis, 12-4 in its last 16 at home, rallied for five runs in the fifth against Tim Hudson on Saturday.

Wainwright (12-9) has a pair of seven-inning starts against the Braves this season, giving up one run each time. He scattered six hits on Sunday, and in 17 innings overall against Atlanta has given up two runs with 17 strikeouts.

Jason Isringhausen worked a perfect ninth for his 27th save in 29 chances, and fourth during the homestand. It was the 200th career save for Isringhausen, who struggled last year, then underwent hip surgery in September and missed the postseason.

"That just goes to show you what a healthy Izzy can do," Wainwright said. "Look at his numbers this year, they're crazy."

Reyes has an 8.31 ERA in seven starts, and was recalled from Triple-A Richmond five days before his latest outing. He worked six innings and gave up four runs -- two earned -- and seven hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

Reyes' best success has come against the Cardinals, who managed one run and three hits in 5 1/3 innings against the rookie left-hander on July 22. Right-handed hitters came into the game batting above .300 against Reyes, left-handers just .167, and St. Louis stacked its lineup with all right-handed hitters and switch-hitters.

"I think this is my best outing up here," Reyes said. "You can't worry about the win or loss, you've just got to worry about making every pitch count."

Third baseman Chris Woodward's two-out fielding error led to two unearned runs in the Cardinals' three-run fifth. Woodward was unable to glove Brendan Ryan's two-out grounder just to his left, allowing one run to score, and Taguchi followed with a run-scoring single for a 3-0 lead.

Ryan Ludwick's single, his second hit of the day, started the inning, and he scored on Molina's double into the left-field corner.

Teixeira doubled with two outs and scored on McCann's single in the sixth and Encarnacion, who had been 2-for-14 during the homestand, led off the bottom half with his ninth homer. Teixeira had two hits and is 14-for-32 (.438) with five homers during an eight-game hitting streak.

Notes

  • Cardinals SS David Eckstein did not play after being hit in his right index finger by a pitch while squaring to bunt on Saturday.
  • Mark Mulder made his third rehab start for Class A Palm Beach, working four innings and allowing one run and two hits while throwing 54 pitches. Mulder, rehabbing from rotator cuff surgery last September, should join the team after rosters can be expanded.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Juan Encarnacion goes deep in the sixth to support Adam Wainwright's fine outing vs. the Braves.  (AP)
Juan Encarnacion goes deep in the sixth to support Adam Wainwright's fine outing vs. the Braves. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

J. Encarnacion
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
St. Louis

A. Wainwright
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 5
 

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Atlanta Braves
Willie Harris, CF4000013 .298
Yunel Escobar, SS4010000 .326
Kelly Johnson, 2B4000000 .290
Mark Teixeira, 1B4120001 .301
Brian McCann, C4011022 .272
Jeff Francoeur, RF3010101 .298
Matt Diaz, LF4020002 .345
Chris Woodward, 3B4000015 .203
Jo-Jo Reyes, P2000012 .273
   a- Scott Thorman, PH1000011 .214
    Jose Ascanio, P0000000 .000
    Joey Devine, P0000000 .000
Totals3417116  
a-struck out for Reyes in the 7th
Batting
2B - Mark Teixeira (28, Wainwright)
RBI - Brian McCann (77)
2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann (31)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Johnson-Teixeira
E - Chris Woodward (6, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Jo-Jo Reyes (L,0-2) 6742061 8.31
Jose Ascanio 1000100 1.13
Joey Devine 1100120 1.80
Pitches-Strikes - Jo-Jo Reyes 88-62, Jose Ascanio 15-9, Joey Devine 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jo-Jo Reyes 7-5, Jose Ascanio 2-1
Batters Faced - Jo-Jo Reyes 25, Jose Ascanio 4, Joey Devine 5
St. Louis Cardinals
Brendan Ryan, SS4110001 .330
So Taguchi, CF3011001 .295
   a- Jim Edmonds, PH-CF1000001 .254
Albert Pujols, 1B3010121 .319
Juan Encarnacion, RF4121001 .286
Scott Rolen, 3B4000023 .265
Ryan Ludwick, LF4120022 .250
Yadier Molina, C4111013 .280
Adam Wainwright, P1000010 .271
   b- Chris Duncan, PH0000100 .268
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
Aaron Miles, 2B2000001 .295
Totals3048328  
a-grounded out for Taguchi in the 7th
b-walked for Wainwright in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ryan Ludwick (16, Reyes), Yadier Molina (12, Reyes)
HR - Juan Encarnacion (9, Reyes)
SH - Adam Wainwright (7), Aaron Miles (3)
RBI - So Taguchi (21), Juan Encarnacion (47), Yadier Molina (30)
2-OUT RBI - So Taguchi (7)
Team LOB - 6
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright (W,12-9) 7611150 3.86
Ryan Franklin (H,22) 1100010 1.92
Jason Isringhausen (S,27) 1000000 1.50
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 109-69, Ryan Franklin 16-11, Jason Isringhausen 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 9-7, Ryan Franklin 2-0, Jason Isringhausen 2-1
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 28, Ryan Franklin 4, Jason Isringhausen 3
Game Information
Attendance - 43934
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Lance Barksdale