Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 10, Royals 0
By Rob Rains
If his start on Wednesday does turn out to be the final one of Adam Wainwright’s career in Kansas City, he certainly made it one to remember.
Staked to a 5-0 lead before he threw his first pitch of the game, Wainwright allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings as the Cardinals coasted to the win over the Royals.
Wainwright became the first pitcher in the majors 40 or older to throw seven or more shutout innings and not allow more than one hit since 2009, when Jamie Moyer, Tim Wakefield and Randy Johnson all did it.
He is the first Cardinals pitcher in franchise history to do it.
The only hit off Wainwright was a clean single to right by Michael A. Taylor with one out in the third.
The offensive star was Nolan Arenado, who hit a three-run homer in the first and later drove in two more runs with a single to give him a five-RBI day.
Juan Yepez also had a day to remember as he made his major-league debut, starting in right field, and hit a bloop double in each of his first two at-bats.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The five-run first was the Cardinals’ biggest first inning of the season and the 10-0 win was their largest shuout win ever in Kansas City … Arenado’s five RBIs tied Tyler O’Neill for the most in a game this season … O’Neill drove in three runs with a triple and a two-run homer, his first since his five-RBI day on opening day … The Cardinals drew nine walks in the game and five of them ended up scoring. Tommy Edman walked three times and twice came around to score … Paul Goldschmidt also drew three walks.
On the mound: Wainwright recorded 15 groundball outs and only had two strikeouts in the game. Only two other runners reached base against him, one on an error by Arenado and the other on a walk. He threw 89 pitches, 60 for strikes … T.J. McFarland and Packy Naughton each worked an inning in relief to complete the shutout.
Key stat: Making their 310th career start together, Wainwright and Yadier Molina led the Cardinals to their 202nd win in those games, tying the all-time record for team wins by a starting pitcher and catcher set by Warren Spahn and Del Crandall with Milwaukee between 1949 and 1963.
Worth noting: The only two other players in team history to have two extra-base hits in their major-league debut were Bo Hart in 2003 (double and triple) and Al Grabowski (also a double and triple) in 1929 … O’Neill was dropped down from third to sixth in the order for the first time this season … Albert Pujols moved into the cleanup spot and was hitless in four at-bats … Three Cardinals minor leaguers were recognized on Wednesday as the player or pitcher of the month in their respective leagues – Nolan Gorman in the International League, Moises Gomez in the Texas League and Michael McGreevy in the Midwest League.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will open a four-game series on Thursday night in San Francisco. Miles Mikolas is the scheduled starter.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains