Wainwright helps himself at plate
Adam Wainwright hadn't won a game in three weeks. And he didn't have any of the following as a hitter this season: an extra-base hit, a run batted in, a walk or a run.
He achieved all of the above Tuesday night as the Cardinals spotted Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed ace Clayton Kershaw a two-run lead before rallying for an 8-2 win.
Wainwright (8-10), who held the Dodgers to seven hits and one walk while fanning seven in 7 1/3 innings, doubled home a run and scored on a single by shortstop Rafael Furcal as the Cardinals tied the game in the fifth.
Then, after an intentional walk in the sixth to second baseman Daniel Descalso, who had two key hits off Kershaw, the reigning Cy Young Award winner inexplicably walked Wainwright to force home another run.
The six-run inning was culminated by a two-run single by Furcal and a two-run double by right fielder Allen Craig.
The win was the first for the Cardinals against the Dodgers after eight straight losses to them over two seasons.
Wainwright had been an .079 hitter at game time.
"A lot of times what you do at the plate makes a difference between a win and a loss," he said.
"I had pretty much been wasting everyone's time going up to the plate before tonight. I've been embarrassing myself all year long. I was just brutal. It's about time I did something."
1B Lance Berkman has played only 22 of a possible 97 games this season because of a bevy of leg injuries, including a left hamstring injury and then a right knee meniscus tear that required surgery. Now add on a bruise to that same right knee as he was hit by a pitch from Los Angeles LHP Clayton Kershaw and, after a brief tour on the bases, knocked out of the game. Of all his ailments this season, Berkman said, "This, for sure, was the most painful. It hurts. It couldn't have been any more on the surgery. You normally don't get any kind of major structural damage on a hit-by-pitch. It's just a bad bruise in an unfortunate spot. I've already had a lot of trauma to that joint and really didn't need any more." As to when he would play again, Berkman said, "Let me look at my crystal ball."
RHP Chris Carpenter was back in the Cardinals' clubhouse before Tuesday's game. But he was sore. Five days after surgery that included taking out the first rib and two neck muscles connected to that rib, besides freeing up some nerves, Carpenter admitted he was surprised to still be in so much pain and have so much swelling after the procedure performed in Dallas by Dr. Greg Pearl. But Carpenter said everything he had heard from Pearl was that the procedure correctly had addressed the problems. "I'm sure we'll know by the end of the season whether it worked or not," said Carpenter, who allowed that there isn't much more he could have done to him. "This is about it," said Carpenter. "If this doesn't work, unfortunately, I'm going to have to say goodbye. I don't think I will. I think it's going to be fine."
LHP Brian Fuentes, recently picked up after Oakland released him, pitched a perfect inning for Class AA Springfield on Tuesday, striking out. Fuentes is slated to work again on Wednesday, and the Cardinals might bring him up after that.
3B David Freese's run-scoring single gave him 56 RBI for the season, a career high, with 65 games to go. Freese has a seven-game hitting streak in which he is 11 for 21.
2B Daniel Descalso, facing Los Angeles LHP Clayton Kershaw for the first time, singled twice off Kershaw. Descalso, a left-handed batter, is hitting .357 against left-handers in 42 at-bats and .203 against right-handers in 158 at-bats.
RF Allen Craig continues to be among the most productive hitters in the National League. His two-run double gave him 49 RBI in just 56 games.
BY THE NUMBERS:8 Consecutive scoreless outings by LHP Marc Rzepczynski, who hasn't allowed a run this month after struggling most of the season.
"Seventh was a kind spot for me. I could have been hitting eighth." 1B Lance Berkman on batting seventh for the first time as a Cardinal and only the 18th time in 1,796 career games.