LOS ANGELES -- After waiting almost a month for a victory, Adam Wainwright wasn't about to quibble over an extra 65 minutes.
That's how long the St. Louis Cardinals had to sit through a rare rain delay at Dodger Stadium before closer Ryan Franklin got the final two outs of a 2-1 victory Friday night. Wainwright outpitched Derek Lowe with seven strong innings, and Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run homer.
"It was important for me to bear down and really make pitches. That's one thing I didn't do the last two times I pitched," Wainwright said. "Lowe did a great job tonight, so we couldn't really push a whole lot of runs across. When you're going up against a pitcher like him, you really have to bear down and you can't let guys score because you'll find yourself in the loss column pretty quick."
Wainwright (4-2) won for the first time in five starts, allowing a run and five hits while stranding four runners in scoring position. The right-hander struck out five, helping the Cardinals win for the fifth time in six games following a 2-8 stretch that dropped them from first to third in the NL Central.
"The wins haven't been there for him, but the performance has," Cardinals second baseman Adam Kennedy said. "He's pitched great. He should have about six or seven wins by now. It just hasn't worked out."
Franklin took over in the ninth just as a heavy downpour blanketed the field. He struck out James Loney for the first out, and Matt Kemp fouled off a pair of 3-2 pitches before plate umpire Ed Montague motioned for the grounds crew.
"You want to get those outs, but it was getting a little messy. So it was probably the right call," Kennedy said.
When the game resumed, Franklin walked Kemp and then fell behind Blake DeWitt 3-0 before striking him out. Kemp stole second base on the strikeout, and Franklin then walked pinch-hitter Delwyn Young, with Kemp taking third on a wild pitch.
Andruw Jones pinch-hit for reliever Cory Wade, and Franklin struck him out for his third save.
"We had our ducks on the pond. We just couldn't get that base hit. That's the way it was all night," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "Lowe certainly pitched well enough to win."
Lowe (2-5) allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings, but remained winless in six outings since beating Arizona on April 23. The right-hander, who pitched seven scoreless innings against the Cardinals in Boston's 2004 World Series clincher at St. Louis, is 1-5 with a 5.24 ERA in six starts against the Cards since then.
This was the first time that Torre and Tony La Russa managed against each other in the same league during the regular season, although they were on opposite sides of the diamond during two interleague series. In June 2003, Torre's Yankees swept the Cardinals in New York -- with Roger Clemens getting his 300th win and 4,000th strikeout in the opener of that three-game set. In June 2005, the Cardinals took two of three from the Yanks at St. Louis.
"It's always a special game when that's the case. For the longest time, he's been the measuring stick for a lot of managers," Torre said. "We both want to win very badly, but the fact that Tony is smarter than I am, he uses that ability to try to gain an edge with technology at times and being able to use all his players. I'm a little bit different. I pretty much let the players play, but he probably controls the game more than I do.
Torre and La Russa are No. 1 and No. 3 on the postseason wins list with 76 and 59, respectively. During the regular season, La Russa is first in wins among current managers (2,404) and Torre is third (2,092). Sandwiched between them in both categories is Atlanta's Bobby Cox.
"I've always enjoyed seeing him, so you miss not being around him -- but only because we're friends," La Russa said. "But you don't really match wits with the other manager. It's your club against their club. Every manager just uses strategy based on the game and the players he has. So the managers don't really compete. The teams do. But I look at his success, and whatever he's doing, he's doing a lot of good things."
Lowe pitched around Albert Pujols with two outs in the third and walked him. Ludwick then drove a 1-1 pitch to center for his 13th homer and ninth this month.
The Dodgers got on the board in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney. It scored Chin-lung Hu, who tripled to right field just beyond Ludwick's reach.
Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa was warned by Montague to stay within the confines of the coaching box in the fourth inning, and Torre came out to argue. Bowa and Montague clashed over the same issue on April 1 while Montague was umpiring third. Bowa was ejected that night for arguing and received a three-game suspension the following day from the commissioner's office.
The rain delay was the second this season at Chavez Ravine, which has had 17 rainouts since the ballpark opened in 1962 -- and none since April 17, 2000. On April 2, San Francisco completed its 2-1 victory after a 74-minute interruption.