Cards surrender lead late in 4-1 loss to Astros
ST. LOUIS -- It's business as usual when Adam Wainwright dominates the Houston Astros. This time, the St. Louis Cardinals ace had nothing to show for it.
Wainwright worked seven innings of four-hit ball, lowering his career ERA against Houston to 1.48 along with a 13-1 record, but the bullpen and a dormant offense fell short in a 4-1 loss Wednesday night.
"There was a lot of them that I was not familiar with and in fact knew absolutely nothing about until watching film," Wainwright said of Houston's lineup. "It's fun, I like facing new guys, I like facing guys that don't have 80 at-bats off me career."
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Wainwright's ERA against the Astros is the lowest in major league history against an opponent among starters with at least 10 starts. He struck out six, walked three and faced only one batter with a runner in scoring position when he fanned Collin McHugh to end the fifth.
Greg Garcia, batting for the pitcher in the bottom of the seventh, hit an RBI single off McHugh to open the scoring.
But Kevin Siegrist surrendered a go-ahead two-run homer to George Springer in the eighth and closer Trevor Rosenthal struggled in another non-save situation, giving up two runs in the ninth.
"He's going to be just fine," Wainwright said of Rosenthal. "We're pitching better and we're going to give him a lot more opportunities to get that routine going and feel comfortable."
The lineup fell short, too, stranding eight runners.
"We were real close to pulling off a win for him there, and I take our bullpen in that situation every time, and we're going to get it done," manager Mike Matheny said. "It was just one of those nights."
Tony Sipp (1-2) got the last out of the seventh, Carlos Correa's two-run single made it a three-run lead in the ninth and Will Harris finished for his fifth save in as many chances.
The Astros are 15-7 since moving Springer to the leadoff spot ahead of Jose Altuve. But he had been in a 4-for-37 slump before connecting to straightaway center off Siegrist (4-2) with two outs for his 15th homer.
Yadier Molina started the two-out rally in the seventh with a single, one of his three hits, and barely beat Springer's relay home from right.
McHugh allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and two walks.
The Cardinals had three hits and an intentional walk in the fifth but came up empty. The key play: Jhonny Peralta dropped a blooper just inside the line in medium right for a hit but Stephen Piscotty, who doubled to open the inning, was an easy out at the plate on the relay by Springer from right field.
Cardinals 1B Matt Adams made an outstanding sliding catch of Altuve's foul pop near the St. Louis dugout to end the top of the sixth, then made a slick fielding play to start a double play on Colby Rasmus in the seventh. "I'm just reacting," Adams said. "I don't know what the situation is before the ball is hit."
LF Matt Holliday slid to snare Correa's sinking liner to end the first.
Astros: RHP Luke Gregorson is on the family medical reserve list and is expected back within a week.
Cardinals: Demoted 2B Kolten Wong has been playing CF for Triple-A Memphis, helping his chances for a recall at some point. ... C Brayan Pena returned to Memphis for a rehab start after spending time at home in Orlando, Florida, attending to a personal issue.
Cardinals: Michael Wacha (2-6, 4.91) has lost a career-worst six consecutive decisions since April 28 entering the opener of a weekend series against the Rangers on Friday. The last St. Louis pitcher to lose seven straight was Kip Wells in 2007.