No Adam Wainwright? No problem. At least for now, anyway. The Cardinals won their fourth straight game last night with a 2-1 victory over the division rival Pirates in 10 innings.
The game went into extras after Mark Reynolds tied the game with an infield single in the seventh. The game-winner was set up after Jon Jay singled and Matt Carpenter doubled against Rob Scahill with two outs in the tenth. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle elected to intentionally walk Matt Holliday to load the bases, but Matt Adams made him pay with an opposite-field single to end it.
A.J. Burnett tossed six scoreless innings in the loss and drove in the only run of the game for the Pirates with an RBI single. He also passed Sandy Koufax on the all-time strikeout list. He’s now at 2,397 for his career, tying him with Kevin Brown for 41st.
The Cardinals currently own the best record in the majors at 16-6. Only the Royals (+48) have a higher run differential than St. Louis (+38).
Your Friday box scores:
Pirates 1, Cardinals 2 (10 innings)
Brewers 0, Cubs 1
Rays 2, Orioles 0
Nationals 0, Mets 4
Blue Jays 4, Indians 9
Phillies 3, Marlins 4
Athletics 7, Rangers 5
Reds 3, Braves 4
Tigers 1, Royals 4
White Sox 0, Twins 1
Diamondbacks 0, Dodgers 8
Mariners 3, Astros 4
Rockies 3, Padres 14
Angels 2, Giants 3
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.