Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wainwright Hangs in; Cardinals 6, Royals 3; Hurler Settles Down after a Rough Start

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wainwright Hangs in; Cardinals 6, Royals 3; Hurler Settles Down after a Rough Start

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY * During his short throwing sessions between starts, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, like many other pitchers, makes sure that for every one pitch out of the windup he throws two from the stretch. The reason is obvious and it was reinforced often Monday against the Royals.

A pitch from the full windup always starts the game.

Pitches from stretch usually decide it.

Wainwright weathered early-inning slogs, pitching constantly with runners on base, to eventually lead the Cardinals to a 6-3 victory against Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium.

The Cardinals' ace threw from the stretch to six of the first nine batters he faced and 11 of the first 16. But despite the 13 baserunners the Royals had to keep Wainwright (7-3) from the windup and test the Cardinals' lead, only four reached third base and three scored in his eight innings.

"That's why you practice more out of the stretch than the windup right there," Wainwright said. "The most important pitches you're going to make in the game are out of the stretch. Especially with two outs. I'd get two outs and they'd get two hits. It was something that if I let up for a second, they were going to put a couple runners on.

"Early on, they had me on the ropes, and we kept answering."

Catcher Yadier Molina, batting No. 2 for the first time this season, homered and drove in four runs to aid Wainwright in the Cardinals' first interleague game of this season. No. 9 hitter Daniel Descalso scored twice and reached base in all four of his plate appearances, including three against Royals' ace James Shields (2-6).

The steady offense and resolute Wainwright assured the Cardinals of a winning trip, with their fifth win on the eight-game journey that ends tonight at Kauffman.

The Cardinals also reached the 50-game mark with the best record in the majors, 33-17, and did so in front of a decidedly Cardinals- leaning crowd of 34,746 at their home away from home.

The Cardinals followed a win Sunday against arguably the best pitcher in the National League by bruising one of the top pitchers in the American League.

Entering Sunday's game against the Cardinals, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw's ERA topped the NL, at 1.35. Shields started Monday afternoon's Memorial Day game with the fourth-best ERA (2.47) in the AL.

Combined, the two aces had a 1.91 ERA in 1461/3 innings. The Cardinals defeated both, jumping them for 10 runs in 13 innings. Six of the runs came in Shields' six innings Monday as many earned runs as he had allowed in his previous four starts combined.

Like Sunday against Kershaw, the Cardinals' started their deconstruction of Shields at the top. Leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter, who reached base three times Sunday, echoed that production Monday. After a 62-minute rain delay before the first pitch, Carpenter singled to start the game and scored on Molina's home run. …

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