The St. Louis Cardinals are riding a winning streak on the strength of dominant starting pitching - and that's without their staff ace even taking the mound.
The Cardinals (6-4) have seen their starters string together solid outings while picking up three straight wins. The trio of Lance Lynn , Jake Westbrook and Shelby Miller have combined to allow one run and 10 hits in 22 innings while striking out 21.
Miller, a 22-year-old rookie, threw seven innings of one-hit ball in Friday's 2-0 win.
"He was impressive," closer Mitchell Boggs said of Miller. "He's been impressive since he got to St. Louis, so I don't think anybody's surprised by what he's doing."
Things don't figure to get any easier for Milwaukee (2-7) against Wainwright (1-1, 3.46 ERA). He's been dominant over 17 career starts in the series, going 8-6 with a 2.15 ERA, though he had lost three straight versus the Brewers before tossing a five-hitter on Aug. 4.
The right-hander yielded two runs and seven hits over seven innings in a 14-3 victory over San Francisco on Sunday.
"My stuff was great," Wainwright told the team's official website. "My arm is feeling as good as it ever has."
Milwaukee also got a strong start Friday as former Cardinal Kyle Lohse went seven innings while allowing two runs and six hits. It just wasn't up to par with Miller's performance.
"It's a shame you get those kind of outings and sometimes you just don't score," manager Ron Roenicke said.
The Brewers, who have lost seven of eight since an opening day victory, will hope for better luck from scheduled starter Yovani Gallardo (0-0, 5.73). St. Louis has historically given him trouble, as he's 1-9 with a 6.72 ERA in his 14 career starts against the Cardinals. His only victory came at Busch Stadium on May 7, 2011.
St. Louis center fielder John Jay is off to a slow start, batting .217, but he's 7 for 16 (.438) with a homer against Gallardo since 2011.
One sign that Gallardo may not be right is a lack of strikeouts. The right-hander has only fanned six through 11 innings, not near the pace he's been at while striking out 200 or more in each of the last four seasons. Gallardo averages 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings for his career.
Though Milwaukee managed a season-low two hits Friday, one came from Norichika Aoki , who has hit safely in six straight games. He's 12 for 25 over that stretch and batting .385 on the season.
Wainwright has generally gotten the best of Ryan Braun , as the Milwaukee slugger is 9 for 46 (.196) with 10 strikeouts.
Yadier Molina , who homered Friday, has two or more hits in four of his last six games against the Brewers, going 10 for 24 (.417) over that stretch. He is 3 for 13 versus Gallardo since 2011.
|April 07, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left quad|
|April 07, 2013||Chris Narveson||15-Day DL||Sprained middle finger|
|April 06, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
|April 05, 2013||Ryan Braun||Day-to-Day||Neck spasms|
|March 25, 2013||Mark Rogers||15-Day DL||Right shoulder instability|
|March 22, 2013||Taylor Green||15-Day DL||Left hip labral injury|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|March 24, 2013||Rafael Furcal||15-Day DL||Right elbow surgery - out for season|
|March 23, 2013||David Freese||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|March 23, 2013||David Freese||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|March 22, 2013||Jason Motte||15-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
|March 07, 2013||Rafael Furcal||Day-to-Day||Right elbow surgery - out for season|
|February 22, 2013||Chris Carpenter||60-Day DL||Nerve irritation, right shoulder|
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After ups and downs last season after reconstructive elbow surgery, Adam Wainwright is reclaiming his role as the St. Louis Cardinals ace. His bat looks pretty good, too.
Wainwright pitched a four-hitter and drove in two runs with three hits, including a pair in a seven-run sixth inning, and Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-0 Saturday for their third straight shutout.
"He's back to himself," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He's healthy, and that's a great place to start. Seasons like last year teach you how to pitch more than just rely on great stuff."
Milwaukee ace Yovani Gallardo (0-1) endured yet another setback against his nemesis, falling to 1-10 with a 6.83 ERA versus St. Louis. Gallardo allowed six runs - five earned - and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.
A 16-game winner coming off his fourth consecutive 200-strikeout season, he was 0-2 with a 12.34 ERA in three starts against St. Louis last season. Including a loss in the 2011 NL division series, Gallardo sinks to 1-11 with a 6.86 ERA against the Cardinals.
"It's just one of those things," Gallardo said. "I know I haven't had very many good ones, but the few that I've hung in there I was able to keep it together and not let it get out of hand like it happened today."
Cardinals pitchers have thrown 32 consecutive scoreless innings, and St. Louis is 4-1 going into Sunday's homestand finale. Jake Westbrook shut out Cincinnati on Wednesday, and rookie Shelby Miller combined with two relievers on a two-hitter against Milwaukee on Friday.
Minus injured Chris Carpenter and departed Kyle Lohse , the Cardinals rotation was thought to be a potential weakness.
"I said it in the beginning of the season, this league doesn't really know what kind of arms we have," said Wainwright, who was 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA last year. "We have some great arms. The world is seeing that."
Milwaukee, missing injured sluggers Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez , hasn't scored in 25 straight innings and is 1-8 since winning on opening day.
"When things don't go your way, it's always just `Here we go again,"' Rickie Weeks said. "We are going to keep our heads up, that's what we do around here."
Wainwright (2-1) retired his first 10 batters and did not allow a ball out of the infield in that span. He matched his career best with 12 strikeouts in his fifth shutout and 12th complete game. He has yet to walk a batter in three starts over 22 innings.
When he was out in 2011, he noticed how much walks could hurt a pitcher.
"It's something I say to myself before every game: No free passes," Wainwright said. "Even when I get behind in the count, you can throw good quality pitches in the zone and let guys get themselves out or get a hit. At least make them earn it."
Wainwright singled twice with an RBI in the sixth, becoming the first Cardinals pitcher to get two hits in an inning since Braden Looper singled twice in the fifth against the Padres on Aug. 6, 2007. A career .202 hitter, Wainwright lined an RBI single over a drawn-in infield to put the Cardinals ahead in the third, then beat out an infield hit and added an RBI single off Burke Badenhop .
Wainwright's 1.94 career ERA against the Brewers is the lowest among active pitchers, and four of his last five starts against them have been complete games.
Ryan Braun struck out three times for the second straight day, and Logan Schafer also fanned three times. Weeks struck out twice and doubled in the seventh, stopping an 0-for-21 slide.
Jon Jay also singled twice with an RBI in the sixth, and Matt Holliday had a two-run single. Jay contributed a nice diving catch in center to rob Martin Maldonado of a hit in the fifth, one at-bat before Yuniesky Betancourt doubled.
Gallardo allowed a run and three hits entering the sixth, when six of the first seven batters reached safely.
NOTES: Attendance of 44,696 was the second sellout of the homestand. ... Saint Louis coach Jim Crews, who got a multiyear deal Friday after leading the Billikens to a school-record 28 wins, threw out the first pitch. The team was introduced prior to the game. ... RHP Shelby Miller is the fourth youngest Cardinal to work seven innings and allow one hit at 22 years and 184 days. He's behind Von McDaniel (18), Bud Smith (21) and Paul Deal (22 years, 38 days). Smith and Dean threw no-hitters and McDaniel also went nine innings. ... The Brewers were held to two singles for the first time Friday night since Sept. 24, 2008, against Pittsburgh. ... Brewers SS Alex Gonzalez did not play after getting hit by a pitch on his left hand Friday night, and was hoping to play in the series finale Sunday, with Marco Estrada (1-0, 4.50) opposing St. Louis lefty Jaime Garcia (1-0, 2.92).