Jay delivers key hit, Cardinals blank Mets 3-0
NEW YORK — The only thing that stopped Adam Wainwright from throwing his second straight shutout was a hyperextended right knee.
The perennial Cy Young Award contender tossed seven neat innings before leaving with an injury Tuesday night, and Jon Jay hit a two-run single that sent the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-0 victory over the New York Mets.
"Just give me a couple of days and everything will be all right," Wainwright said. "At first you get a little scared and then as I started walking off the field, I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. Like I said, all is good."
Left fielder Matt Holliday robbed Chris Young of a tying homer, one night after the Mets played some dazzling defense of their own to post a shutout in the series opener.
Wainwright (4-1) faced the minimum through four innings and outpitched Dillon Gee. It was the second consecutive scoreless start for the 6-foot-7 right-hander, who tossed a two-hit shutout last Thursday at Washington.
"He was terrific. He was just pitching kind of like I’ve never seen him," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Just a different feel for every single pitch and what he’s trying to do with it, and able to locate with all of them. It’s been fun to watch."
Wainwright allowed four singles and walked none to extend his scoreless streak to 17 innings. He struck out three but was pulled after 79 pitches following an awkward tumble in the seventh.
Young fisted a short flare between the mound and first base. Wainwright went after it and lunged at the ball, but was unable to grab it and fell to the grass. Young was tagged out by first baseman Matt Adams, and Wainwright never threw another pitch.
He left the game with a hyperextended right knee, but the Cardinals are hoping it’s nothing serious.
"Measured out really well in the trainer’s room. Strength looked good and mobility," Matheny said. "There doesn’t seem to be any signs of a ligament injury. Maybe sore for a day or so, but we’ll find out a little more tomorrow."
Kevin Siegrist tossed a perfect eighth and Trevor Rosenthal completed a four-hitter, the Cardinals’ fourth shutout in 21 games this season. Rosenthal worked around two walks for his sixth save.
"I knew I wanted to stay in the game. I knew I had a pretty low pitch count and I was very capable of finishing that out," Wainwright said. "I also knew that getting those guys in the game there when I wasn’t maybe 100 percent might be the right call, so I didn’t fight him too much about it."
Holliday added an RBI single off Jose Valverde in the ninth for the Cardinals, who had lost four of six following a four-game winning streak. St. Louis starters entered with a 0.90 ERA in the previous eight games.
Even when Wainwright made a mistake, he got help. Holliday leaped at the fence to take a two-run homer away from Young in the fifth.
"To see the big fella get up like that, it was awesome," Jay said.
Two batters later, Wainwright hung a curve but Travis d’Arnaud banged it right to shortstop for an inning-ending double play.
Curtis Granderson went 0 for 3 for the Mets before a sparse crowd announced at a season-low 20,220. The slumping newcomer is hitless in his last 22 at-bats during a 4-for-50 slide that’s dropped his average to .116.
"I wish I knew," Granderson said. "Because if I knew I would hopefully be able to figure it out."
New York had won five of seven.
Rain fell in the first inning and Gee (1-1) matched zeros with Wainwright until the fourth.
Holliday drew a leadoff walk and the Cardinals loaded the bases on consecutive singles by Adams and Yadier Molina. Jay hit a sharp grounder through the box for a two-run single that ended New York’s season-best scoreless streak at 20 innings.
Gee, who had gone 10 innings without giving up a run, buckled down from there.
"I was happy with the way I limited the damage in that inning," he said. "That could have gotten pretty ugly, and in the past it has. I think it was a big step for me."
NOTES: Molina extended his hitting streak to 13 games. … Matheny said LHP Tyler Lyons will get another start this weekend against Pittsburgh. … David Wright’s hitting streak ended at 12 games.