ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright hit a two-run homer in the second inning and pitched six scoreless innings to lead the Cardinals to a 2-0 victory over the Dodgers at Busch Stadium on Thursday afternoon, evening the series and giving St. Louis its first back-to-back wins since May 13-14.
"It surely helps if your starters go out there and throw some good games up and help your offense around a little bit," Wainwright said. "To win those last two games gives us some good momentum and lets us know we can play with the best teams out there when we play our game, and we've just got to keep going."
In yet another strong outing, Wainwright (6-3) gave up four hits and two walks and struck out six on 101 pitches. The right-hander also extended his scoreless streak to 16 1/3 innings, which is the longest by a Cardinals pitcher this season. His 410-foot home run was his second of the season and 10th of his career. He now has a 0.34 ERA in his past four starts.
"I think we'll probably hear more about the two-run homer than the scoreless innings, but [Wainwright] just continues to go on that great roll, making quality pitches with everything," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He's taking good at-bats all the way through.
Dodgers righty Brandon McCarthy (5-2) went just four innings, giving up seven hits, two earned runs and the Wainwright homer while striking out six on 85 pitches. He pitched while dealing with a blister on his index finger, which he said after the game he noticed earlier in the day.
"Where he was at, I wanted him to keep going," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of McCarthy. "But there's a blister situation, so I had to manage it."
The Dodgers' bullpen continued its dominance, holding the Cardinals scoreless for the rest of the game, only allowing two hits. However, Los Angeles' offense couldn't muster any production.
The win brought the Cardinals above .500 (26-25). They sit 1 1/2 games back of the Brewers and 1 1/2 ahead of the Cubs going into this weekend's series in Chicago.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED What a play: With two out in the fourth inning and runners on first and third, Austin Barnes hit a grounder that appeared to be headed to center field on its way to scoring Cody Bellinger. Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz, however, managed to make a difficult play and quickly passed the ball off to second baseman Paul DeJong for the final out of the inning. The ball traveled with an exit velocity of 99.8 mph and kept the Dodgers scoreless.
"[It would be] 2-1 with two runners on after that, so you never know where that game could have gone," Wainwright said. [Diaz] made a couple nice plays today. That was probably a game-saving play."
Walks, but no runs: The Cardinals' bullpen walked batters to start both the seventh and eighth innings, but the Dodgers could not take advantage. St. Louis converted double plays in both innings to keep the visitors from sparking any offense late in the game.
"I think it was good pitching [the past two days]," Roberts said. "[Carlos] Martinez really threw the ball well [Wednesday], and today, I thought we had a really good plan. Couldn't get that hit when we needed."
"I guess [it was a bad pitch]. You never -- I mean, I know he can hit a little bit, but it's a curveball -- you're not really expecting someone to jump it like that. I guess that's credit to him. I'd have to go back and look at the replay, but he did what he had to do and won the game for them." -- McCarthy, on the home run he gave up to Wainwright
STRIKE 'EM OUT, TOSS 'EM OUT
The Dodgers had two players ejected in the ninth inning for arguing with home-plate umpire Marty Foster. First was Adrian Gonzalez, who struck out on a called strike three that looked to be well off the plate. Gonzalez chirped with the umpire and was eventually ejected while in the dugout.
Two batters later, with one on and one out, Yasmani Grandal took a pitch that also looked to be well off the plate for strike one and then another that looked to be a strike, but was close to the edge of the zone. After striking out swinging Grandal took exception with the umpire and was tossed. That marked the first ejection of Grandal's career and the sixth of Gonzalez's. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers: The Dodgers will continue their road trip and head to Milwaukee to begin a three-game set with the National League Central leaders on Friday. Lefty Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.37 ERA) will take the mound for the series opener at 5:10 p.m. PT, looking to bounce back from his last outing, when he lasted a season-low 4 1/3 innings and surrendered four runs on a career-high-tying 11 hits.
Cardinals: The Cards will head out on a seven-game road trip, starting with a three-game series against the Cubs. Righty Lance Lynn (4-3, 2.93 ERA) will get the start on Friday with first pitch at 1:20 p.m. CT. The series is the team's first in Chicago this season, and Lynn will be looking to bounce back from a 4-3 loss to the Rockies, when he lasted just five innings and gave up all four runs.