CHICAGO (AP) — Adam Wainwright joined Clayton Kershaw as the majors’ only 20-game winners, pitching three-hit ball over seven innings, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 8-0 on Monday night.
Wainwright hit the 20-win mark for the second time while matching his career-high for victories, and the Cardinals moved a step closer toward their second straight division title.
They remained 2 1/2 games ahead of Pittsburgh in the NL Central with five to play with the Pirates beating Atlanta, 1-0. St. Louis clinched its fourth straight playoff appearance Sunday.
Wainwright (20-9) won his fifth straight start and made it look easy, striking out eight and walking one.
He gave up a double to Anthony Rizzo with two out in the first and did not allow another hit until back-to-back singles by Luis Valbuena and Welington Castillo with two out in the seventh.
The only other time Wainwright won 20 was in 2010, and that year, victory No. 20 also came at Wrigley Field.
He got plenty of support in this one, with the Cardinals pounding Travis Wood (8-13) for seven runs and eight hits over five innings.
They scored four in the fourth and three in the fifth on the way to their eighth win in 10 games.
Matt Holliday had two hits and scored two runs. He also drove in one.
Matt Adams chipped in with two hits and two RBIs. Jon Jay added two hits and drove in three, capping a four-run fourth with a two-run single to make it 4-0.
Holliday also had a run-scoring double to left and Yadier Molina singled in a run in that inning, and the Cardinals broke it open in the fifth.
Matt Carpenter led off that inning with a walk and was ruled safe at second tagging on Randal Grichuk’s fly to center following a replay review. He scored on Holliday’s bloop single to right, and Adams capped the rally with a two-run single to make it 7-0.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.