ST. LOUIS (AP) — Adam Wainwright credits a more rigorous pregame warmup routine as part of the reason for his May rebound.
Wainwright hit a two-run homer off Brandon McCarthy and pitched six innings of four-hit ball, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 on Thursday for a four-game split.
“Earlier in my career it was a little different when I took the mound, my first pitch of the game I was hot and I was ready to rock,” the 35-year-old Wainwright said. “I could still probably do that now, but I feel more prepared when I get a good warm up now.”
After finishing April 2-3 with a 6.11 ERA, Wainwright was 3-0 in May.
Wainwright (6-3) struck out six and walked two, pitching out of two-on, one-out jams in the fourth and fifth, and extending his scoreless streak to 16 1/3 innings. His ERA has dropped to 3.79.
Matt Bowman, Trevor Rosenthal and Seung Hwan Oh pitched an inning each to complete a five-hitter. Oh threw a one-hit ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.
Wainwright followed Paul DeJong’s second-inning single with a drive over the left-field bullpen for his 10th career homer. Wainwright has six hits and seven RBIs this season.
“He showed me the curveball before and kind of locked me up a little bit, but he threw it out of the same slot the next time and I was able to put a good swing on it,” Wainwright said.
McCarthy (5-2) gave up seven hits in four innings, struck out six and walked one, before leaving with a blister.
Adrian Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal were ejected in the ninth by plate umpire Marty Foster. Gonzalez took a called third strike on the outside corner leading off and was tossed while arguing from the dugout as Grandal was being introduced as a pinch hitter with one out and one on, prompting Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to go to the plate for a discussion with Foster. Grandal swung past strike three, got into an argument with Foster — apparently over a called strike on the second pitch of the at-bat — and also was tossed. Austin Barnes then popped out.
“Once he threw me out, I might as well go out there and let him have a little more,” Gonzalez said. “The funniest thing is he told Dave afterwards that he’s been calling pitches off the plate all game, so he wasn’t going to change.”
Wainwright needs two homers to tie Bob Forsch for second among Cardinals pitchers behind Bob Gibson (24).
“I think he’s lined up to arguably be the best hitting pitcher in the league,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Cardinals SS Aledmys Diaz made a diving stop up the middle on Barnes’ fourth-inning grounder with two on, transferred the ball to his right hand and made a backhand flip to DeJong at second for an inning-ending forceout on Chase Utley, saving a run. … Los Angeles LF Cody Bellinger made a sliding backhand catch on Diaz’s liner in the bottom half.
ANOTHER MISSED OPPORTUNITY
St. Louis advanced a runner to third without scoring for the second time in the series. With runners at second and third, no outs and the middle of the Dodgers infield playing back in the third, Yadier Molina grounded to a drawn-in third baseman Kike Hernandez, who threw to first for the out. Tommy Pham also grounded to Hernandez, who threw home and got Stephen Piscotty into a rundown, and Piscotty was tagged out by Barnes, the catcher, near third base as Jedd Gyorko advanced to third. DeJong then struck out.
“We left money on the table again,” Matheny said. “We left a couple of runs out there that need to come across. That’s a lot to put not only on our starters but our pen also.”
Gyorko’s first-inning single off of McCarthy was his first hit in 16 career plate appearances against the right-hander.
Dodgers: LHP Adam Liberatore (left forearm tightness) was placed on the 10-day DL retroactive to Wednesday and LHP Grant Dayton was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Cardinals: INF Gyorko will go on paternity leave when the team travels to Chicago for a weekend series against the Cubs.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.37) starts Friday at Milwaukee, where he is 4-0 with a 1.41 ERA in five starts.
Cardinals: RHP Lance Lynn (4-3, 2.93 ERA) will face RHP John Lackey (4-5, 5.18 ERA), a former teammate, on Friday.