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Question of the Day
Wainwright became the National League’s first eight-game winner by dominating Cincinnati again, and the St. Louis Cardinals pulled away to a 4-0 victory Sunday night that completed another successful series against their division rival.
Overall, St. Louis has won nine of its last 11 games and moved within 1 1-2 games of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Wainwright (8-2) beat Johnny Cueto and the Reds on opening day in Cincinnati, allowing only three hits during seven innings of a 1-0 victory. On Sunday, the right-hander gave up five hits in eight innings and matched his career high with 12 strikeouts.
“That’s the epitome of pitching, in my opinion,” manager Mike Matheny said. “The people watching today maybe on the national (television) game, I hope they had an appreciation for what this guy does and how he does it.”
Wainwright set the tone by striking out five of the first six batters on a total of 24 pitches. He got Brandon Phillips on three pitches that clocked 73, 91 and 93 mph.
“Last year I was a one-side-of-the-plate pitcher and they just crushed me,” Wainwright said. “This year, I’m pitching a lot differently. I’m using both sides of the plate.”
The game drew 42,273 fans, the Reds’ third sellout crowd of the season. All three sellouts have come against the Cardinals.
Leake went six innings and continued his streak of solid pitching. The right-hander hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last five starts, giving up a total of eight earned runs.
“I’ve never felt like this,” the 31-year-old pitcher said. “That’s part of of the evolution of me. I expected to get better as I got older, and a little wiser.
“Now that I’m over 30 years old, I don’t think there’s any reason for me to start to decline. I think I should still try to get better and expect to get better.”
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