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Cardinals vs. Padres, Sept. 16-19

Adam Wainwright finally won his 19th game Sunday as the Cardinals excruciatingly showed what they can do if they put their mind to it.

They beat San Diego 4-1 to take three games of a four-game set and improve to 29-18 on the season against the best five teams in the National League: Cincinnati, San Francisco, Atlanta, Philadelphia and the Padres. But they find themselves six games out of a playoff spot with two weeks left to play.

Wainwright, who along with Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook has struggled to try to be perfect in absence of any offensive help, has sstruggled lately. But he pitched eight solid innings Sunday, cruising along after the Birds scored a couple of runs in the first inning to give him some breathing room. He allowed only five hits and three walks while striking out seven to improve to 19-11 with a 2.45 ERA.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Colby Rasmus scored two runs and drove in one with a solo homer in the sixth.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Matt Holliday had an RBI single in the first inning to give the Redbirds a lead they never surrendered.

: The Cardinals could only muster six hits. But at least they made the most of it.