Wainwright actually pitched strongly after the first inning as he managed seven innings, giving him 14 consecutive starts of six innings or more. But the Cardinals didn't have a hit in seven at-bats with a man in scoring position, including two at-bats in the eighth and three in the ninth.
In the eighth, after shortstop Tyler Greene failed to bunt two runners over, Skip Schumaker grounded into a double play to end the inning. In the ninth, after center fielder Colby Rasmus doubled off reliever Joe Nathan, Albert Pujols fanned on a wicked 2-2 slider, Ryan Ludwick, down to .226 now, bounced to Nathan, and Rick Ankiel fanned.
The Cardinals have scored only six runs in the last four games, winning one, at New York. Before that, they had scored 29 runs in three wins at Kansas City.
Manager Tony La Russa called that latter stretch "hitter-ish. The last four games, we looked like me at the plate, "not hitter-ish. No-chance-ish.
"Offensively, we've got to do more. We will do more."
Minnesota 3, Cardinals 1: The Cardinals' interleague record slipped to 8-5 this year as they failed to score more than three runs for the fourth game in succession. Soft-tossing LHP Glen Perkins, who never had faced the Cardinals, held them scoreless for six innings before allowing a run in the seventh and getting help from three relievers. "He deserves the credit," said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. "And we should have done better."