Pitching on a typical steamy, muggy, hot, St. Louis summer afternoon, Wainwright managed to throw six scoreless innings to pick up his 14th win of the season in the Cardinals' 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium.
The win was the third in a row for the Cardinals, who will look to sweep the four-game series with
But it was a bigger win for Wainwright, who became the first Cardinals pitcher since at least 1920 to win his first 10 decisions at home according to data researched by STATS, Inc. Wainwright is 10-0 at home in 10 starts with a 1.31 ERA, the lowest home ERA in the National League.
Wainwright wasn't available for comment for nearly an hour after the game due to his participation in a Christian Day event on the field at Busch Stadium but later apologized to the few reporters who decided to wait him out.
"I felt the same as I've felt all year," Wainwright told those that stuck around. "This is a great place to pitch. I like sleeping in my own bed, and seeing my kids before I pitch. I just love pitching at home. The fans make it easy."
Wainwright also continued his streak of an MLB-record 25-straight quality starts at home in which he allowed three earned runs or less and pitched at least six innings.
The right-hander used two double plays to get out of jams in the second and sixth innings and used a spectacular defensive play by Felipe Lopez and Albert Pujols to get out of a jam in the fifth. Wainwright ran his scoreless innings streak to 19, the longest scoreless streak by a Cardinals pitcher this season.
Wainwright allowed five hits and struck out three, improving to 14-5 with a 2.02 ERA for the season.
"Typical Waino," said shortstop Brendan Ryan. "He's a horse. I know he's not going to go scoreless every single time but it sure is nice when he does and hopefully he can do the same next time."
A day after starter Chris Carpenter said he went through five or six jerseys to combat the heat, Wainwright and the Cardinals dealt with an even hotter day on Saturday afternoon. The temperature at game time was announced at 91 degrees but a thermometer on the field showed temperatures near 110 during the game.
The Cardinals scored one run in the fourth on a hit by Skip Schumaker and didn't score again until a sacrifice fly by Ryan in the eighth.
Kyle McClellan tossed two scoreless innings and Trever Miller and Ryan Franklin teamed for a scoreless ninth to send the sweaty Busch Stadium fans home happy.
"It was a really difficult day to play," said manager Tony La Russa. "The starting pitchers working and sweating, to go six innings like that with three days rest - that was clutch and outstanding. It was really a tough game for both teams.
"It is a real ordeal for both teams. You played last night and you wake up in the morning, and it was hot last night, and you wake up in the morning and you know what you're going to go through. They are already thinking about tomorrow. It's a real ordeal and some of the things, especially at the plate, tomorrow there may be some runs scored but a lot of time it's really tough to get your bat through there and your energy gets sapped. It's very tough, but it's the big leagues and you expect it.
"I mean I'm tired and I didn't do anything."
Jeff Suppan will look to give the Cardinals their second four-game sweep of the season on Sunday. The Cardinals, who swept the Braves in four games at Busch Stadium earlier this year, are 1-4 in Suppan's five starts since joining the club in June.
Dungy visits clubhouse
Super Bowl Champion coach Tony Dungy was at Busch Stadium Saturday to speak at a program after the game for Christian Day. Players on both the Cardinals and Dodgers spoke at the event.
Dungy visited both clubhouses before the game, meeting Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who he called "a legend" in Tampa, La Russa's hometown and one of Dungy's former stops. Dungy won the Super Bowl in 2007 with the Colts, but had one of his most memorable games in
Dungy and the Buccaneers lost to the Rams 11-6 in the NFC Championship Game in 1999 when the Rams' Ricky Proehl scored late in the game to send
"That one is still painful," Dungy said. "It still brings back tough memories. We were up 6-5 with a couple of minutes left and you think we're four minutes from the Super Bowl. Ricky Proehl ended up playing a year for me in
"That was a great game.
sure you catch all the