It was his first victory at Petco Park, yet it almost had the feel of being at home.
''That was an awesome, awesome Cardinal reaction today,'' Wainwright said after the Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 10-2 Tuesday night. ''That was pretty special. It's not rare for our fans to show up, but it's rare for our fans to be louder than the home fans. When I walked off today it definitely felt like a home game.
''They're special people, St. Louis fans. We're spoiled rotten playing in front of them all the time.''
The fans also got to cheer Daniel Descalso's first career grand slam and his career-high five RBIs.
Wainwright (6-3) held San Diego to one run and four hits in 7 1-3 innings, struck out six and walked one.
The 6-foot-7 right-hander had been 0-2 with a 2.57 ERA in his previous three appearances at the spacious downtown ballpark, including two starts. That leaves New York's Citi Field as the only NL park where Wainwright has never earned a victory.
''I've thrown a couple of good games here,'' Wainwright said. ''It's a pitcher's park through and through. They've still got some big hitters over there, though, so you never can get too comfortable if they've got a lineup with some guys who can do some damage.''
The only run Wainwright allowed came in the second, when rookie Jedd Gyorko doubled and eventually scored on Alexi Amarista's double-play ball. Gyorko had three hits.
''Wainwright was just a little too much for us,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. ''We couldn't really solve Wainwright. He wasn't really commanding the ball the first couple of innings, then he took off.''
Said Padres catcher John Baker: ''If you give him a three- or four-run lead, he throws strikes, works fast and the defense plays well behind him.''
Descalso lined a 1-2 pitch from Anthony Bass into the Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Deck in right-center with one out in the eighth, his second homer of the season. Jon Jay was intentionally walked ahead of him.
''It was a slider that caught a lot of the plate and I covered it and it got out,'' Descalso said. ''It's nice to hit a grand slam but I would have taken a sac fly there. As long as I have a productive at-bat there it doesn't matter what it was.''
Descalso, hitting just .197 coming in, went 3 for 3 with a walk and scored three runs. He missed the cycle by a triple. He singled leading off the third and scored on Matt Carpenter's double. He hit an RBI double in the four-run fifth and scored on Carlos Beltran's two-run single.
Matt Holliday struck out opening the eighth but reached on Bass' wild pitch and Allen Craig singled. Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso tried for a reverse double play on Yadier Molina's grounder but his wide throw pulled shortstop Everth Cabrera off the bag and Craig was safe. Jay was intentionally walked and Descalso hit his slam.
San Diego's Edinson Volquez (3-5) allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings, struck out five and walked one. He allowed four runs on six hits in the fifth.
NOTES: Padres lefty Clayton Richard made his second rehab start with Triple-A Tucson at Omaha, allowing two earned runs on five hits in six innings, with four strikeouts and no walks. ... Cardinals 3B David Freese was out of the lineup for the second straight game. He got three stitches in the base of his right thumb after getting spiked by Milwaukee's Norichika Aoki while tagging him out during a rundown Sunday. ... Padres LF Carlos Quentin sat out with a balky right knee. He had an awkward slide into home in Monday night's 4-2 victory. ... The series concludes Wednesday night when St. Louis LHP Tyler Lyons is scheduled to make his big league debut against rookie RHP Burch Smith (0-0, 15.63). Lyons will be the second Cardinals lefty in nine days (John Gast, May 4 vs. New York Mets) to make his big league debut in a start. Lyons was a ninth-round pick out of Oklahoma State in the 2010 draft.
Link to box score: St. Louis 10 at San Diego 2
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