photo: Adam Wainwright via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
The St. Louis Cardinals staged an early comeback behind milestone performances from Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina to defeat Cleveland by a 7-2 score at Busch Stadium Sunday afternoon. Wainwright tossed a complete game and Dexter Fowler plated three.
Sunday, August 30, 2020 – St. Louis 7, Cleveland 2
On his 39th birthday, starter Adam Wainwright gave St. Louis Cardinals fans a truly special gift – one of the best performances of his career. The results? A 7-2 complete-game victory over Cleveland (21-13) at Busch stadium. The victory salvaged the third and final game of the series for St Louis (12-13), snapping a four-game losing streak and ending the Indians’ 10-game road winning streak.
This was the 23rd complete game of his career for Wainwright (W, 3-0) and his first since July 16, 2016. The pitching staff’s leader seemed to get stronger as the contest progressed, the only mark against him occurring on a two-run home run in the second by outfielder Tyler Naquin. Wainwright retired his last 11 batters in a row and 19 of his last 21. The righty notched a season-high nine strikeouts, yielding just four hits and two walks.
Behind the plate for the 269th time in Wainwright’s career was Yadier Molina, who was playing in his 2,000th game as a Cardinal. That figure places the future Hall of Famer third on St. Louis’ all-time games played list behind Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Lou Brock. Also, Molina collected his 1980th and 1981st career base hits, moving him into sixth all-time among Cardinals, passing Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst. His RBI put him just four behind Ted Simmons for seventh place on St. Louis’ all-time list.
At the game’s conclusion, after the two warriors hugged in celebration, Wainwright tipped his cap to the Indians dugout as the opposing club applauded him, as well. “It was one of the coolest things I have ever had happen to me,” the pitcher said. “It appreciate it. Thank you very much, Cleveland.”
Trailing 2-0 heading into the home half of the second, the Cardinals offense quickly picked Waino up by putting up a four-spot. Dexter Fowler added to his strong 2020 campaign, lining a bases-loaded double to right that plated Paul DeJong (single) and Molina (single). The 2-2 tie was immediately extended into a 4-2 lead after Dylan Carlson singled to right, scoring Matt Carpenter (walk) and Fowler.
St. Louis padded the lead the next frame before capping the scoring with single tallies in the seventh and eighth. In the third inning, Paul Goldschmidt scored via a balk after the first baseman doubled to left with one gone and advanced to third on a ground out. Fowler led off the seventh with his fourth bomb of 2020 before a single by Molina knocked in DeJong, who had reached on a ground-rule double down the left field line.
After scoring a total of three runs over the first two games of the series, the Cardinals’ bats generated 11 hits on Sunday. DeJong led the way, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Fowler added a double to his long ball in three at bats, touching home twice and driving in three. Left fielder Tommy Edman joined Molina and Fowler with two hits.
Fowler leads the Cardinals with four home runs and his 12 RBI is just one behind Matt Carpenter for a share of the team lead.
St. Louis completed its 12-game homestand with a 6-6 record.
The Cubs also won Sunday and the Brewers lost, with the Cardinals alone in second place, 3 ½ games behind Chicago in the National League Central Division.
Monday’s game: at Cincinnati (15-19), 5:40 p.m. CDT, Dakota Hudson (0-2, 3.32) vs. Anthony DeSciafani (1-1, 5.71), FOX Sports Midwest // ESPN // KMOX
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