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Adam Wainwright Shuts Down Cubs, Leads Cardinals to Sweep

Chicago Cubs v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Cardinals returned to Busch Stadium at the start of the weekend with just three wins in their last nine games. Thanks to a strong start from Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals ended their weekend on a four-game winning streak by completing a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs after a 2-1 win on Sunday.

St. Louis is now 30-28 and just three games back of the first-place Brewers. The Cubs are in second place, 1 12 games out.

Definitely not boring.

Wainwright spun eight scoreless innings on Sunday afternoon, throwing 126 pitches; that is the third-highest count of his career. Wainwright allowed only two base hits, and the first wasn’t until Kris Bryant shot a single to left in the sixth inning.

With eight strikeouts (three of those were Bryant), Wainwright has 18 in his last 14 innings. Wainwright did walk seven batters, including Kyle Schwarber twice, but the St. Louis infield turned three double plays behind the right-hander to keep the Cubs off the board through eight innings. Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong made a dazzling catch on a sinking liner from Anthony Rizzo with two runners on to end Chicago’s eighth and put an exclamation point on the end of Wainwright’s scoreless performance.

Wong drove in the Cardinals’ first run of the day in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly to score Jedd Gyorko. Gyorko made it to third and scored on Wong’s fly ball after reaching on a walk, stealing second base, and taking third on Willson Contreras’s throwing error. In the bottom of the eighth, Wong singled and stole base and stole second base with two outs. With Wainwright’s spot due up, Matt Carpenter got the nod to pinch-hit and lined a single up the middle to plate Wong and give St. Louis a 2-0 score.

Manager Mike Shildt went with Jordan Hicks in the ninth inning. After a strikeout of Javier Baez to open the frame, Contreras drew a walk and Jason Heyward singled to put runners at the corners with one out. Shildt then called on John Gant. Addison Russell grounded out to score Contreras from third, but Gant got another groundball out from David Bote to end the game. And if it wasn’t clear at the time it happened, Carpenter’s pinch-hit, RBI single was a key point in this contest. Carpenter now has four hits in his last 10 at-bats.

Cardinals prospect Andrew Knizner made his much-anticipated debut on Sunday. Knizner was 0-for-3 at the plate but worked a solid game behind the plate, catching all nine innings.

The Cardinals will be off on Monday before the Reds come to town Tuesday night to play three games. Genesis Cabrera is slated to make his second Major League start, with the first pitch around 7:15 PM Central time. The Cubs, now 2-8 over their last 10 games, have a make-up game with the Angels tomorrow before a three-game series with the Rockies.

The Cardinals will be at Wrigley Field next weekend.