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Wainwright blanks Arizona on one hit

2014-05-20T22:00:00Z 2014-05-21T12:11:05Z Wainwright blanks Arizona on one hitBy Rick Hummel rhummel@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8196 stltoday.com

Adam Wainwright, pitching to two different umpires, found both strike zones appealing as he permitted the Arizona Diamonbacks just one hit, a fourth-inning double by Paul Goldschmidt, in a 5-0 win tonight at Busch Stadium.

While Wainwright was striking out nine and facing just one hitter over the 27-batter minimum, the Cardinals flexed their muscles for two home runs after not hitting any for 74 innings.

After Matt Adams clouted a two-run home run in the first off D-backs starter Bronson Arroyo, Jhonny Peralta launched a 444-shot off Arroyo in the sixth. Peralta, who has the club lead in home runs by a wide margin at nine, also doubled in a run in the fourth.

There was not a walk in the game called by crew chief Brian O'Nora for the first three innings before he became ill and second-base umpire Marvin Hudson took over.

Arizona's lone highlight came when center fielder A.J. Pollock caught Yadier Molina's drive to left center _ twice _ in the sixth. Pollock, reaching high, had the ball in his possession before he banged into the wall but as he was tumbling to the ground, the ball popped out of his mitt briefly before Pollock snatched the ball again.  

The Cardinals are 17-8 in their career against Arroyo, who was making his 37th career start against them but first with the Diamondbacks. Adams' early homer off Arroyo was his second in three career at-bats against the righthander at that point.

Wainwright's one-hit shutout was the first for the Cardinals since May 10 of last year when Shelby Miller allowed a hit to the first man he faced and then spun a one-hitter at Colorado. Throwing 115 pitches, 86 of them strikes, Wainwright (7-2), tossed his eighth shutout and his first one-hitter. 

Cards flex muscles with two homers 

While Adam Wainwright sailed through the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing one hit and striking out nine through seven innings, the Cardinals flexed their muscles for two home runs after not hitting any for 74 innings.

After Matt Adams clouted a two-run home run in the first off D-backs starter Bronson Arroyo, Jhonny Peralta launched a 444-shot off Arroyo in the sixth to stretch the Cardinals' lead to 5-0 at Busch Stadium.

Arizona's lone highlight in the first two-thirds of the game came when center fielder A.J. Pollock caught Yadier Molina's drive to left center _ twice _ in the sixth. Pollock, reaching high, had the ball in his possession before he banged into the wall but as he was tumbling to the ground, the ball popped out of his mitt briefly before Pollock snatched the ball again.  

Neither starter had any trouble with two strike zones. Crew chief Brian O'Nora worked the first three innings before becoming ill. Marvin Hudson, who had been at second base, took over, and there was not a walk in the first in the first 6 1/2 innings.

Arroyo touched up 

Arizona starter Bronson Arroyo had given up just one earned run in 23 1/3 innings this month but the Cardinals touched him up for four runs in five innings tonight in taking a 4-0 lead.

Matt Holliday, raising his runners in scoring position average to .396, singled in Kolten Wong, who had doubled with two out in the fifth, for the fourth run. Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright permitted only a two-out double in the fourth to Paul Goldschmidt through six tidy innings. He fanned nine in that time.  

Molina, Peralta double for 3-0 lead 

Jhonny Peralta doubled home Yadier Molina, who also had doubled in the fourth inning, to hike the Cardinals' lead to 3-0 tonight over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Peralta had been four for 37 with men in scoring position.

Adam Wainwright retired the first 11 Arizona hitters before Paul Goldschmidt doubled to right center with two out in the fourth. 

Wainwright perfect through three 

Cardinals righthander Adam Wainwright, seeking his seventh win, which would tie him for the league lead, set down the first nine Arizona Diamondbacks hitters in succession tonight as he nursed a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the third at Busch Stadium.

Wainwright fanned four and allowed only two balls to be hit to the outfield in the first three frames as he threw just 30 pitches.  

Adams' HR ends eight-game dry spell  

Matt Adams ended the latest Cardinals' homerless streak at eight games and 74 innings when he bashed a 407-foot, two-run drive off Arizona's Bronson Arroyo in the first inning tonight at Busch Stadium.

Matt Holliday sent a single past Arroyo's head with two out in the first and then Adams clouted his third homer of the season over the right-center-field wall.

Jhonny Peralta had hit the last previous home run in the seventh inning of a May 9 game at Pittsburgh.

Rosenthal gets night off 

Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal, who worked four days in a row, concluding on Sunday when he blew his second save of the season, will not be available to pitch tonight, manager Mike Matheny said before the game.

Matheny said that when Rosenthal was utilized on Sunday, he decided then he was going to give the righthander tonight off after a scheduled off day on Monday. "That was the plan all along," said Matheny.

Tonight's closer could be any one of a group of a pitchers, including righthander Carlos Martinez and lefthander Kevin Siegrist, who also have worked a lot this season and were rested a day or two apiece earlier in the home stand.

"When they need time, we give it to them," Matheny said. It's unlikely but the closer tonight could even be righthander Jason Motte, who had 42 saves in 2012.

Motte, who missed all of last season after having elbow problems which required surgery, officially was taken off the Cardinals' disabled list today, with lefthander Sam Freeman, who had appeared in only one game after being brought up from Class AAA Memphis sent back there. Freeman pitched for Memphis on Monday.

Motte hasn't pitched in the majors since the last game of the National League championship series in 2012. Matheny wasn't quite sure what role would be filled by Motte, who has had six scoreless minor league relief innings, allowing just one hit.

But Matheny said, "What it adds is more leadership (to a young bullpen) and take some of the heat off Randy Choate, who says he sometimes feels like a kinder-care teacher."  

Motte said of his comeback, "It's definitely been a long road. I really didn't try to think about it. I just tried to take it one day at a time. But the past couple of days, I have been thinking about it."

The Cardinals summoned Motte Friday but did not activate him on the weekend.

Asked about his repertoire, Motte joked, "I've still got my pitch-and-a-half," referring to his dominant fastball and more recently developed cutter.

"If the cutter's not working, I've got (one) pitch. I'm not coming back with that 12-6 curveball," said Motte. 

Adam Wainwright will seek his seventh win for the Cardinals tonight at Busch Stadium against Arizona and a familiar foe. The Diamondbacks will start longtime Cincinnati pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who will make his 37th career start against the Cardinals, most by any active pitcher against them.

Jon Jay, who is 14 for 37 (.378) against Arroyo, will be in the Cardinals' lineup in center field, hitting eighth.

Cardinals lineup

Carpenter 3b

Wong 2b

Holliday lf

Adams 1b

Molina c

Craig rf

Peralta ss

Jay cf

Wainwright p

Arizona lineup

Parra rf

Owings ss

Goldschmidt 1b

Montero c

Prado 3b

Pollock cf

Ross lf

Pennington 2b

Arroyo p

Rick is a baseball writer/columnist at the Post-Dispatch 

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Baseball writers Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel cover the Cardinals for the Post-Dispatch and STLtoday.com. They'll provide daily Cardinals updates here, from the start of spring training through the end of the season and beyond.

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