NEW YORK — Adam Wainwright became the major leagues’ first 10-game winner by pitching seven scoreless innings and sent Matt Harvey to his first loss of the season, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the New York Mets 2-1 Thursday in a classic pitching matchup.
Wainwright (10-3) retired his first 11 batters before David Wright’s single, and allowed four hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Wainwright matched his career best by winning his fifth straight start, dropped his ERA to 2.18 and got his 1,000th career strikeout when Wright was called out on a first-inning curveball.
Known best in New York for freezing Carlos Beltran with a called third strike to end Game 7 of the 2006 NL championship series, Wainwright had been 0-4 with an 8.46 ERA in four starts against the Mets since beating them on April 18, 2010.
Trevor Rosenthal pitched the eighth, and Edward Mujica allowed a long home run to Marlon Byrd with one out in the ninth. John Buck then doubled and took third as Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded to second baseman Matt Carpenter, who made a diving backhand stop as he fell and threw to first for the out.
Josh Satin, who had his first big league at-bat of the season a night earlier, fouled off two full-count pitches and then swung over a splitter as Mujica remained perfect in 19 save chances.
Harvey (5-1) had been unbeaten in 14 starts since Sept. 12 and he pitched well enough to win, giving up one run and five hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and a walk.
St. Louis scored its only run off him in the third, when Pete Kozma hit a one-out, opposite-field single to right for the first hit of the game and Carpenter tripled past Byrd, who tried for a sprawling catch in right but allowed the ball to bounce past him.
New York’s bullpen gave up a run in the eighth, when Carpenter and Beltran singled off Scott Rice, and Matt Holliday and Allen Craig singled against LaTroy Hawkins. Craig’s RBI was his 49th of the season.
Craig made a diving stop at first base in the bottom half to rob Omar Quintanilla of a hit, just before Wright singled for his third hit.
Harvey, who lowered his ERA to 2.04, had no-decisions in eight of previous nine starts, and the Mets have scored just 18 runs while he’s been in the game during his last 10 outings, according to STATS. He opened impressively, striking out Beltran for the second out of the game with three 97 mph fastballs. He shook off a second-inning comebacker by Yadier Molina that struck him on the left foot.
His next scheduled start is Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader, when right-hander Zack Wheeler is to make his major league debut for the Mets. The highly touted Wheeler was making his last minor league outing for Triple-A Las Vegas against Tacoma later Thursday.
Under dark skies and with heavy rain forecast, an announced crowd of 25,471 that seemed much smaller watched the Mets lose for the eighth time in 10 games following a five-game winning streak. The Cardinals took two of three in the series and improved the big leagues’ best record to 43-23.
Wainwright was perfect before Wright dumped a 2-2 curveball into center field for a single, a pitch after first base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt gave the Mets captain the call on a checked swing — Wainwright had started to walk off the mound, anticipating strike three.
Daniel Murphy took four straight balls, just Wainwright’s eighth walk of the season, and Lucas Duda flied out to John Jay a step in front of the fence in right-center. Jay also made a nice grab to catch a wind-blown drive by Jordany Valdespin leading off the sixth.
Byrd singled with one out in the seventh and advanced on Buck’s grounder to give the Mets a runner past first for just the second time. Nieuwenhuis, in an 0-for-19 slide, was intentionally walked to bring up Harvey’s spot in the batting order, and pinch-hitter Justin Turner grounded out on a slow roller to third baseman Daniel Descalso.
Kozma, who had three hits, doubled with one out in the fifth when he popped the ball into short center. Nieuwenhuis sprinted in and tried for a sliding catch, but cut short his slide when Valdespin ran out from second and peeled off late just in front of him. Harvey then induced consecutive groundouts.
NOTES: The Mets started the same lineup and batting order from Nos. 1-8 in three straight games for the first time since April 23-26, 2011, STATS said.
Nats 5, Rockies 4
DENVER — Ryan Zimmerman homered, doubled and drove in three runs, Ian Desmond got four hits and the Washington Nationals beat the depleted Colorado Rockies 5-4 on Thursday.
The Rockies lost four players and a coach, as well as the rubber match of the three-game series.
Outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler were injured early and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left for an undisclosed reason in the eighth. Reliever Wilton Lopez and pitching coach Jim Wright were ejected in the seventh.
Craig Stammen (4-2) threw two scoreless innings. Rafael Soriano got his 17th save after giving up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Todd Helton with two outs.
Zimmerman’s RBI double off reliever Matt Belisle (4-3) in the eighth broke a tie, and he later scored on Desmond’s infield single to make it 5-3.
Tulowitzki was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth, straining an already short Rockies bench.
Gonzalez was hit near the ankle by a foul ball while on deck in the first inning and exited with a bruised left foot. The Rockies said X-rays were negative and listed the All-Star left fielder as day to day.
Fowler was hit on the right hand by a pitch from Ross Detwiler after squaring to bunt in the third. A team trainer looked at Fowler, and the center fielder stayed in for another inning.
Detwiler was activated from the 15-day DL and made his first start since May 15. He lasted five innings, giving up three runs on six hits and striking out two.
He was in line for the loss until the seventh, when things got heated between the umpiring crew and the Rockies. Desmond led off with a single and stole second. With two outs, Lopez was called for two balks, scoring Desmond to tie it at 3.
Lopez shouted at first base umpire and crew chief John Hirschbeck as he left the field after the inning ended and was ejected. Wright was also tossed.
The Rockies were in control before the then. Tyler Colvin, who replaced Gonzalez, had an RBI single in the first and Michael Cuddyer drove in a run with a double in the fourth and later scored on a groundout to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead.
Zimmerman had given the Nationals a 2-1 lead with a two-run homer in the third, his seventh of the season, the only blemish in an otherwise strong start for Jeff Francis.
Francis entered Thursday with a tenuous hold on his spot in the Rockies’ rotation. He had a shaky start against San Diego on Saturday in his first outing since coming off the 15-day DL because of a groin strain. He needed 93 pitches to get through four innings against the Padres, and with veteran Roy Oswalt pitching well in the minors, Francis’ role with the Rockies was in question.
Francis made his case with a solid outing against the Nationals. He allowed two runs on five hits and struck out eight, his most since May 24, 2008.
Cubs 6, Reds 5
CHICAGO — Pinch-hitter Julio Borbon had a two-out RBI single in the 14th inning, helping the Chicago Cubs beat the Reds 6-5 Thursday and end Cincinnati’s record 12-game winning streak at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs hadn’t beaten the Reds at Wrigley since last August 9. With the win, the Cubs avoided a four-game sweep and improved to 3-10 against the Reds this season.
Hector Rondon (1-0) pitched two of the Chicago bullpen’s eight scoreless innings. Jonathan Broxton (2-2) was the loser in the longest game for both teams this season.
Starlin Castro led off the 14th with a single off Broxton, stole second when Anthony Rizzo struck out and got to third on Alfonso Soriano’s groundout to first. Nate Schierholtz was intentionally walked before borbon’s hit.MORE IN Sports WireCLEVELAND — When Masahiro Tanaka pitches, the Yankees can usually count on a win. Full Story
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