Red-hot Wainwright seeks first victory over Cubs since 2010

News-DemocratJune 18, 2013 

— Control freak Adam Wainwright will go for his 11th victory of the season at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday when the St. Louis Cardinals play host to the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium.

Wainwright has won his last five starts to improve to 10-3 with a 2.18 ERA in 14 games. He leads the National League in victories, ranks second in innings (103) is fourth in ERA.

Wainwright also has a 1.35 ERA at home.

But the most eye-popping number for Wainwright is small in stature. He has issued just nine walks to go with 97 strikeouts.

"He's doing it on a pretty consistent basis, where he's not just up there throwing balls down the middle of the plate and trusting them to sink," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He's using his curveball in full-count situations (and) his changeup when he's behind in the count. It's the epitome of pitching.

"He's able to control all of his pitches for strikes and expand the zone. It's textbook. It's very impressive. I know he's going to be the first one to say we've got a long way to go, but it's definitely been a very, very impressive start."

Wainwright hasn't defeated the Cubs since Sept. 24, 2010, in Chicago. He is 6-5 with a 4.46 ERA against the Cubs in his career.

Chicago will pitch right-hander Jeff Samardzija (3-7, 3.46 ERA). Samardzija is 3-2 with a 4.95 ERA in his career against St. Louis.

Wainwright is one of a handful of Cardinals making legitimate pushes for the NL All-Star team. Others are closer Edward Mujica, right fielder Carlos Beltran, second baseman Matt Carpenter, catcher Yadier Molina and pitchers Shelby Miller and Lance Lynn.

The Cardinals won the series opener 5-2 on Monday behind five shutout innings from Miller and a two-run double from Molina, who had two hits to lift his NL-leading average to .355. Allen Craig and Shane Robinson drove in runs with sacrifice flies, and Mujica recorded his 20th save in 20 opportunities.

Here are the Tuesday lineups:

CARDINALS (45-25)

Matt Carpenter, 2B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Matt Holliday, LF

Allen Craig, 1B

Yadier Molina, C

David Freese, 3B

Jon Jay, CF

Pete Kozma, SS

Adam Wainwright, P

CUBS (28-40)

Luis Valbuena, 3B

Starlin Castro, SS

Nate Schierholtz, RF

Alfonso Soriano, LF

Ryan Sweeney, CF

Cody Ransom, 1B

Welington Castillo, C

Darwin Barney, 2B

Jeff Samardzija, P

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665.

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