Baseball / Sports

Peralta goes deep twice as Cards win 7-0

ST. LOUIS -- Jhonny Peralta hit two home runs, the first ending a run of 366 at-bats by the Cardinals without one, and Adam Wainwright struck out seven in eight scoreless innings as the Cardinals closed out their weekend series with the Pirates with a 7-0 win on Sunday at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals hadn't hit a home run since April 16 when Peralta unloaded a blast into the third deck in left field in the fifth inning. It then took just one lap around the batting order for another home run, as Peralta hit another one deep in the sixth for his eighth career multi-homer game.

Wainwright, meanwhile, allowed just three hits, walking two and hitting a batter as he came out an inning shy of his second complete-game shutout this season. Wainwright extended his scoreless inning streak to 25. He threw a complete-game shutout against the Nationals on April 17 and pitched seven scoreless innings against the Mets on April 22. Wainwright is 5-1 this season, the first pitcher in the majors to get to five wins.

"Waino was same guy we've seen all season," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "He's been an absolute joy to watch."

"I was having fun tinkering with speeds out there," Wainwright said. "I changed speeds on my curve throughout the game, my cutter too. I threw a couple slower ones to see the reaction and the best way to know if things are going to work is try them at game speed. Luckily, things were working."

Wainwright threw 99 pitches and Matheny brought on Carlos Martinez to pitch the ninth. Martinez struck out the side.

"It didn't go well at all," Matheny joked about telling Wainwright he was coming out. "He gets it, especially a guy we're keeping an eye on that knee (hurt in the last game) and obviously it didn't keep him from doing what he needed to do today. His pitch count was right where he needed to be and we've got guys who can throw in the pen."

Wainwright is one inning off his career long scoreless streak, set back in 2010, and is only the fourth Cardinal pitcher to win five games in March and April. The others are John Denny, Darryl Kyle and Bob Tewksbury. He has struck out seven or more batters in five of six starts this season.

The game also included Matt Adams' first major-league triple, as his sinking fly ball to right in the eighth got under the glove of Jose Tabata and went to the wall. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Yadier Molina. Adams has hit safely in eight of nine games at Busch Stadium this season.

(c)2014 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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