ST. LOUIS - When St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny came to the mound in the seventh inning, Adam Wainwright focused on recording another out.
Matheny left his ace in for one more hitter with two on and Wainwright responded with one more big pitch, and then left the mound with a whoop in a 5-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.
"That was a couple weeks of frustration built up, just not making a pitch when I needed to," Wainwright said. "He just came out and gave me a little pep talk."
St. Louis’ Kolten Wong takes a curtain call after hitting his second home run in the Cardinals’ 5-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.
St. Louis second baseman Kolten Wong, a University of Hawaii alumnus, hit solo homers in the fifth and seventh innings.
"He's got really impressive bat speed, always has," Matheny said of Wong. "You don't have to cheat. You just take the head of the bat to the ball and watch it jump."
On Wainwright's final pitch, Yoenis Cespedes took a third strike on a full-count curveball and catcher Tony Cruz sprinted to the dugout before home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom raised his right arm.
"He's one of the top pitchers and when they get into trouble they find ways to get out of it," Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "That's what he did. That's why he's one of the best."
Wainwright (14-6) needed 66 pitches to slog through the first three innings after the start was delayed by rain for more than an hour for the second straight game. The right-hander retired 11 hitters in a row before the seventh.
Jhonny Peralta's two-run double keyed a three-run first off Boston's Brandon Workman.
"That first inning is kind of notorious in his career," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Workman.
St. Louis took two of three from Boston, which beat it in the World Series in the fall but is in last place in the American League East.
Workman (1-5) retired nine straight before Wong lined a 1-0 pitch over the right-field wall with one out in the fifth to put the Cardinals up 4-2. Wong then added his ninth home run of the season in the seventh, a 423-foot shot off Craig Breslow to right.