St. Louis at Washington

St. Louis (52-46) «1102000  460
Washington (28-67)000001x  181

Cardinals 4, Nationals 1 (6) wire reports

WASHINGTON -- Adam Wainwright has flirted with complete games several times this season. He finally notched one, even if it was on a waterlogged technicality.

Wainwright weathered two delays and pitched six strong innings, Rick Ankiel ended a five-week homer drought and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped a three-game losing skid with a rain-shortened 4-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.

"Easy way to get one," joked Wainwright, who flew to D.C. on Wednesday to be ready for the outing. "It's a little bit of karma, maybe. They told me if I fly in early, I had to throw a CG and I did it."

Wainwright (11-6) allowed one run and eight hits in the 19th consecutive start he has gone at least six innings. He walked one and struck out seven in his first complete game of the season and third of his career.

"It was clutch. It was a game where they had several guys that had success against him," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "He made a lot of great pitches to get zeros. He made the lead hold up."

The game, a makeup of a May 3 contest postponed by rain, was called with one out in the top of the seventh after a 1-hour, 30-minute delay left the field unplayable. There was a 76-minute stoppage in the fourth inning. It was the 16th Washington game interrupted by rain this season, and delays in those total 30 hours, 31 minutes.

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Washington interim manager Jim Riggleman tried with no success to convince the umpires that the worst-hit areas -- puddled water between first and second base -- could be repaired to allow play to continue.

"I was trying to convince them that we could dry it up if they gave it a little more time," Riggleman said. "But it was not going to be safe."

Crew chief Dana DeMuth said the final deluge, which didn't even show on radar when the tarp was removed shortly after 11 p.m. in preparation of an 11:25 p.m. resumption, left the field a soggy mess.

"It wasn't supposed to be there more than four or five minutes and it ended up being a 12-minute downpour," DeMuth said. "Then getting the tarp on was getting the tarp on too late. The whole infield was an inch under water and they put down an inch of [drying] dust trying to ... sop it up, and that only turned into mud."

La Russa agreed with the umpire's call.

"You can't try harder than that -- whether it's the grounds crew or the umpire. Mother Nature is always stronger than anybody," La Russa said.

DeMuth's decision preserved the statistical complete game for Wainwright, who wouldn't have pitched the seventh.

"[La Russa] told me I was done before the [second] rain delay happened. I could have kept pitching -- no problem -- but I knew he was going to yank me," Wainwright said.

Adam Dunn had three hits for the Nationals, who had won two in a row.

The Cardinals exploited an error by Dunn in left field to score an unearned run in the first. Skip Schumaker led off with a double, moved to third when Dunn dropped Colby Rasmus' flyout on the transfer and scored on Mark DeRosa's groundout to the pitcher.

Ankiel led off the second with his sixth homer, and first since June 19.

Collin Balester (0-1) started for the Nationals in place of the injured Jordan Zimmermann, but was removed after thunderstorms forced the first delay. The right-hander yielded three runs -- two earned -- and three hits, walked one and struck out two in his 2009 debut.

Just like they did in putting Zimmermann on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow discomfort, the Nationals exercised caution with Balester.

"For a guy like that, an hour [delay] is pretty long. ... He's a young guy. We're where we are at in the standings and we're going to be conservative," Riggleman said of Balester.

Tyler Clippard relieved and gave up a one-out single to Yadier Molina and a run-scoring double to Joe Thurston for a 3-0 St. Louis lead. Brendan Ryan was intentionally walked to load the bases, Wainwright fouled out and Schumaker drew a walk to force in a run.

Dunn doubled to lead off the sixth and scored on a two-out double by Alberto Gonzalez.


Before the game, the Cardinals added SS Julio Lugo, acquired in a Wednesday trade with Boston, to the 25-man roster and optioned RHP P.J. Walters to Triple-A Memphis. ... Nationals LHP Scott Olsen underwent successful surgery Wednesday to repair a small tear in the labrum in his left shoulder. He will begin a throwing program in six to eight weeks, said acting general manager Mike Rizzo. ... Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols received the night off, just the second time this season he hasn't started. Both have been at Washington.

Copyright 2015 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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Players of the Game

A. Dunn
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
St. Louis

S. Schumaker
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B3121100 .307
Colby Rasmus, CF3000005 .262
Mark DeRosa, 1B3001011 .261
Ryan Ludwick, RF2110110 .273
Rick Ankiel, LF3111022 .219
Yadier Molina, C3110001 .288
Joe Thurston, 3B3011020 .231
Brendan Ryan, SS2000100 .275
Adam Wainwright, P3000013 .143
2B - Skip Schumaker 2 (23, Balester, Balester), Joe Thurston (15, Clippard)
HR - Rick Ankiel (6, Balester)
RBI - Skip Schumaker (24), Mark DeRosa (54), Rick Ankiel (23), Joe Thurston (24)
2-OUT RBI - Skip Schumaker (12)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Thurston-Schumaker-DeRosa
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright (W,11-6) 6811170 2.95
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 94-61
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 7-3
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 26
Washington Nationals
Nyjer Morgan, CF3020000 .291
Cristian Guzman, SS3010022 .290
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B3000004 .280
Adam Dunn, LF3130000 .274
Nick Johnson, 1B3000013 .302
Josh Willingham, RF2000122 .294
Alberto Gonzalez, 2B3011002 .308
Josh Bard, C3010011 .262
Collin Balester, P1000001 .000
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
   a- Anderson Hernandez, PH1000010 .251
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Clippard in the 5th
2B - Adam Dunn (19, Wainwright), Alberto Gonzalez (7, Wainwright)
RBI - Alberto Gonzalez (17)
2-OUT RBI - Alberto Gonzalez (4)
Team LOB - 7
E - Adam Dunn (11, Misplayed grounder)
Washington Nationals
Collin Balester (L,0-1) 3332121 6.00
Tyler Clippard 2311230 2.45
Ron Villone 1.1000020 4.28
IBB - Ryan by Tyler Clippard
Pitches-Strikes - Collin Balester 54-37, Tyler Clippard 36-21, Ron Villone 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Collin Balester 4-3, Tyler Clippard 1-2, Ron Villone 1-1
Batters Faced - Collin Balester 13, Tyler Clippard 11, Ron Villone 4
Game Information
Attendance - 25359
Game Time - 1:49
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Dana DeMuth