Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Orioles 2

Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Orioles 2

By Rob Rains

When Adam Wainwright won the first game of his major-league career on May 9, 2006, Richie Palacios was a week away from celebrating his ninth birthday.

Seventeen years later, and after more than two months of being stuck on 198 career victories, Wainwright finally got to 199 on Tuesday night in Baltimore – with a big asset from Palacios.

Coming off the bench as an injury replacement for Nolan Gorman, Palacios hit a pair of solo homers to spark the Cardinals’ offense and help Wainwright get the win that had eluded him for his past 11 starts since a June 17 win over the Mets.

Wainwright worked five innings, holding the 91-win Orioles to just two runs in his final inning, leaving the game with a 3-2 lead after throwing 94 pitches.

The bullpen was able to hold that lead, which grew to 5-2 with a two-run seventh inning that included the second homer from Palacios, who had hit only one home run in his previous 69 games in his major-league career between the Guardians and Cardinals.

Wainwright likely will make his next start, and first try for his 200th career win, next Monday night at home against Milwaukee. He is lined up to make three more starts before the season ends.

Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: Paul Goldschmidt gave Wainwright a 1-0 lead before he took the mound, hitting the first of the Cardinals’ three home runs with two outs in the first inning, his 24th of the season … They got another run in the second on a sacrifice fly from Jordan Walker, after a leadoff single by Willson Contreras, and in the fourth on the first home run from Palacios … Their final run scored on a single from Lars Nootbaar with two outs in the seventh.

On the mound: Wainwright had to battle through the first four innings to keep the Orioles from scoring. He walked the first two batters in the first before getting the next three outs, then stranded a runner on third in the third and in the fourth got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam with a double-play grounder … The first three hitters reached base in the fifth on a walk and two singles, before getting a strikeout to end the inning and strand two more runners … Giovanny Gallegos, Matthew Liberatore, John King and Ryan Helsley finished the game off, allowing just two combined hits, with Helsley working a 1-2-3 ninth to record the save … The Orioles were just 1-of-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 runners on base.

Key stat: This was the second time this season the Cardinals have had a player enter the game as a substitute and hit two home runs. Andrew Knizner also did it earlier this season.

Worth noting: Gorman had to leave the game because of tightness in his right hamstring after beating out a groundball in the second … Contreras also left the game  because of a right hand contusion, an injury he actually suffered in batting practice … There are only four active pitchers who have more than 200 career victories – Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw …Peoria won game one of its Midwest League playoff series on Tuesday night while Palm Beach lost its playoff opener in 10 innings. Both are best-of-three series.

Looking ahead: Drew Rom, acquired by the Cardinals from the Orioles at the trade deadline, will start against his former team on Wednesday night in the final game of the series.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.