Game Report: Cardinals 2, Dodgers 0

By Rob Rains

The other 587 pitchers who have started at least one game for the Cardinals in their more than 100-year history never did what Adam Wainwright accomplished on Thursday at Busch Stadium.

Never before had a Cardinals pitcher hit a home run that accounted for all of the runs in a victory, as Wainwright did with his 2-run homer in the second inning against the Dodgers.

“That means something,” Wainwright said. “This is a pretty storied franchise. That’s special to me.”

There had been numerous games when the pitcher hit a home run and threw a shutout, as Bob Gibson did on multiple occasions, but there were always additional runs scored in the game.

Wainwright threw six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits, as he extended his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 16, the longest by a Cardinals pitcher this year. He has allowed only one run total in his last four starts, covering 26 innings.

The last Cardinals pitcher to hit a home run and throw six or more scoreless innings in a shutout was Rick Ankiel on April 26, 2000, when he threw seven scoreless innings in a 7-0 win over the Brewers.

The homer was Wainwright’s second of the season and 10th of his career.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Wainwright’s homer came with two outs in the second and followed a one-out single by Paul DeJong … DeJong also singled in the sixth as he raised his average to .400 in five games since his promotion from Memphis … The Cardinals had numerous other chances to score, leaving eight runners on base and going just 1-of-9 with runners in scoring position … Jedd Gyorko had a three-hit game, raising his average to .321.

On the mound: Wainwright walked two and struck out six, coming out for a pinch-hitter after he had thrown 101 pitches. He left runners on third base in the second, fourth and sixth innings … Wainwright has won his last six decisions and the six scoreless innings lowered his ERA for the season to 3.79 … Both Matt Bowman and Trevor Rosenthal walked the first batters they faced in the seventh and eighth, but each got out of the inning with double plays … Seung Hwan Oh allowed a one-out single in the ninth before earning his 13th save.

Key stat: The Cardinals have hit eight homers and driven in 31 runs out of the ninth spot in the batting order, including position players and pinch-hitters. The only spots in their order with as many or more home runs and RBIs are the third and fourth spots … No other NL team has hit more than four homers out of the ninth spot or had more than 22 RBIs.

Worth noting: The Cardinals have not announced who will be joining the team in Chicago on Friday when Jedd Gyorko goes on paternity leave, but it is expected it will be outfielder Magneuris Sierra … The game against the Pirates on Sunday June 25 at Busch Stadium has been moved from a 1:15 p.m. start to 7:05 p.m. for ESPN’s Sunday night baseball … Right-hander Jack Flaherty, one of the organization’s top prospects, was promoted to Memphis on Thursday and will make his Triple A debut for the Redbirds on Friday night. Flaherty was 7-2 with a 1.42 ERA in his 10 starts for Double A Springfield.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals make their first visit of the year to Wrigley Field on Friday for the opener of a three-game series against the Cubs, who have lost their last six games. Lance Lynn will get the start against John Lackey in the 1:20 p.m. game.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains