Adam Wainwright (16-7) pitched 8 shutout innings and Albert Pujols' RBI double in the first inning off Wandy Rodriguez was all the Cardinals needed to make a 1-0 lead stick against the Houston Astros at Busch Stadium on Tuesday.
Wainwright, now tied with CC Sabathia of the Yankees for the major league lead in wins, went eight innings, gave up no runs on 3 hits, 0 walks and 5 strikeouts. Wainwright was just plain nasty and continues to dominate opponents on the mound.
His counterpart on the mound Wandy Rodriguez (12-8) was a hard luck loser, giving up only 1 run over 7 innings. Rodriguez also only gave up 3 hits, with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts. The difference was that the Cardinals were able to tally a run on two hits in the first inning. The first was a single by Brendan Ryan, and then Albert Pujols doubled him in to make it 1-0 after one inning.
Ryan Franklin came in to pick up his 33rd save in the ninth inning. His ERA continues to be very impressive at 1.09. Wainwright's ERA improved to 2.50.
The Cardinals, who improved their record to 73-54, a season best 19 games over .500, gained a game on the hapless Chicago Cubs (62-61), and the Cardinals now lead the Cubs by 9 whole games. ESPN's Baseball Tonight crew dubbed the Cubs "toast" after last night's embarrasing 15-6 loss to the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field.