became the National League's first 15-game winner. He also took the team lead, at least for a few days.
Wainwright worked eight innings of three-hit ball and
' rare hit off
drove in the lone run in the St. Louis Cardinals' 1-0 victory over the
on Tuesday night.
Wainwright (15-7) matched the Yankees' CC Sabathia for the major league victory lead, and moved ahead of
(14-3) for staff honors.
''Golly, I've got to put my sprinting shoes on to stay ahead of him,'' Wainwright said. ''That's good, I like the push. The
whole rotation, we just keep going out there and feeding off each other.''
sped home from first on Pujols' one-out double down the third-base line in the first inning for the NL Central leaders. The
Cardinals (73-54) won with only three hits for the first time since July 6, 2005 at Arizona, and for the first time at home
since Sept. 4, 2004, when they beat the Dodgers 5-1 on only two hits.
St. Louis is 14-3 since Aug. 7 and leads the division by a season-best nine games, while knocking the Astros a season-worst
11 games behind.
Wainwright retired 17 straight after
doubled to lead off the game, striking out five and walking none.
''When you're kind of rolling like that, you just let it happen,'' Wainwright said. ''You don't think about what's going on,
you just make a pitch.''
Bourn was stranded at second when the next three Astros failed to get the ball out of the infield. The Cardinals totaled four
outfield putouts during Wainwright's outing. The right-hander worked six or more innings for the 25th straight start, the
most since Carpenter did it 28 straight times in 2005.
''Any count, every at-bat, he mixes the ball so well and he won't give in,'' Houston's
said. ''Sometimes you get dominated and we got dominated today.''
Before Tuesday, Pujols was 3 for 25 with no RBIs against Rodriguez, and the .120 average was his worst against a left-hander
with a minimum of 15 at-bats. Rodriguez' success against Pujols was, in turn, his best against any batter he had faced at
least 20 times.
''I tried to get him to hit a ground ball because he's a power hitter,'' Rodriguez said. ''I threw the ball down and he hit
the ball well.''
Tony La Russa
noted that Rodriguez has only struck out Pujols once.
''The numbers are there, but Albert puts the ball in play,'' La Russa said. ''It does help to realize Rodriguez has become
an outstanding pitcher.''
The Cardinals are 27-3 since July 3 in games started by their top three starters - Wainwright, Carpenter and
(12-9). They are 10-2 against left-handed starters since the
trade on July 24.
Rodriguez (12-8) allowed a run and three hits in seven innings, righting himself after the first by retiring 15 straight hitters
's single with one out in the seventh. He has allowed one run or fewer in nine of his last 10 starts, going 6-2 with a 2.05
ERA in that span
In five August starts totaling 35 2-3 innings, Wainwright has walked one with 22 strikeouts. His biggest out came on his 114th
pitch, a strikeout of pinch-hitter
with a man on third to end the eighth.
Michaels hit a grand slam off Wainwright last year when he was with the Pirates, tying it 4-4 in the eighth inning.
''That was the worst I'd ever felt after a game,'' Wainwright said. ''To see him come up in that situation, it was 'All right,
here we go, I've got to make a pitch, I'm not going to do that again.'''
finished for his 33rd save in 35 chances, walking
on four pitches with two outs before Lee flied out to right.
NOTES: Carpenter will start on regular rest Thursday for the Cardinals, the spot of injured
in the mix to start Friday. ... Bourn has reached base in 18 straight games. ... Holliday is in a 4-for-26 slump. ... Lee
is 1 for 20 against Wainwright after going hitless in three at-bats with a drive to the warning track in the seventh.