Adam Wainwright allowed four hits in six effective innings to beat Rich Hill in a matchup of 40-year-old starting pitchers, and Wainwright’s batterymate, Yadier Molina, collected three hits as the visiting St. Louis Cardinals pulled away for a 7-0 rout of the New York Mets on Monday night.
Paul Goldschmidt homered in the fifth inning after hitting an RBI single in the third, and he scored on Nolan Arenado’s single in the ninth. Molina added an RBI single in the ninth, and Dylan Carlson hit an RBI double early in the game as St. Louis (74-69) won for the fifth time in six games.
Edmundo Sosa and Harrison Bader added run-scoring singles in the ninth for the Cardinals, who collected 15 hits.
The Cardinals also moved within a half-game of the idle Cincinnati Reds for the second wild-card spot. St. Louis is tied with the San Diego Padres, who lost to the San Francisco Giants later Monday.
Wainwright (16-7) struck out four to move within three of 2,000 for his career. He walked three and exceeded 15 wins for the first time since winning 20 games in 2014.
Wainwright won his fifth straight start and third in a row since turning 40 on Aug. 30. He rarely threw a pitch above 90 mph and threw 37 curveballs at an average velocity of 73.3 mph.
Wainwright worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first when he used a 74.8 mph curveball to whiff Jeff McNeil. He used his sinker to induce a double-play grounder from Hill in the second and escaped trouble in the fifth when Goldschmidt snagged Michael Conforto’s sharp liner to first.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the matchup between Wainwright and Hill was the first between two pitchers at least 40 years old since R.A. Dickey pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays against Bartolo Colon of the Mets on June 18, 2015.
Elias also said it was the first time a Cardinals player over 40 opposed another pitcher at least 40 years old since Dazzy Vance opposed Cincinnati’s Eppa Rixey on June 18, 1933.
The Mets (72-73) fell 3 1/2 games out in the wild-card race.
Hill (6-7), who fell to 0-3 in nine appearances with New York after being acquired from Tampa Bay on July 23, allowed three runs on six hits in five innings. He turned 40 in March.
A scary moment occurred in the second when Kevin Pillar reached on an infield single to shortstop. After making a lunging grab to field the grounder, Sosa unleashed a wild throw that hit first base umpire Junior Valentine in the face near his right ear. Valentine was bleeding but stayed in the game after getting attention from a New York trainer.
Umpiring crew chief Jerry Meals said in a postgame statement, “Junior is doing well. He’s been checked out and has no broken bones. He was incredibly alert from the get-go. The blood seemed to stop fairly quickly, thankfully, and he was adamant that he was fine.”
–Field Level Media
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