Wainwright controls Dodgers through six to prop up Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright picked up a little pointer from San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum at the All-Star Game.

As if the talented right-hander needed any more help.

Wainwright pitched six sharp innings to improve to 10-0 at home and Skip Schumaker and Brendan Ryan each drove in a run, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 on Saturday.

Four days earlier, Wainwright chatted with Lincecum in the National League bullpen and walked away with a tip.

"I asked him his changeup grip and he showed it to me," Wainwright said. "I hope this doesn't get him in trouble but I threw it in the bullpen during the All-Star Game.

"I kind of worked with it on the fly during the game today. I probably threw eight or 10 of them. It's a work in progress but it's a certainly a good pitch."

Wainwright (14-5), who lowered his ERA to 2.02, has allowed just one earned run in his last 29 1/3 innings. The All-Star right-hander gave up five hits and struck out three in winning his fourth successive decision and sixth in the last seven. His ERA at Busch Stadium dropped to 1.31.

St. Louis has won four in a row and has outscored Los Angeles 17-5 while winning the first three games of the four-game series. The Cardinals began the day a half-game behind Cincinnati for first place in the NL Central.

Wainwright became the first St. Louis pitcher to win his first 10 starts at home since at least 1920, according to STATS LLC. He also extended his record of 25 consecutive quality starts at home.

Wainwright has thrown 19 scoreless innings in a row, the longest streak for a St. Louis pitcher this season.

"Typical Waino," Ryan said. "I know he's not going to go scoreless every single time but it is sure nice when he does."

Kyle McClellan followed Wainwright with two innings of one-hit relief. With a runner on first and two outs in the ninth, Ryan Franklin came on to retire Casey Blake for his 17th save in 18 opportunities.

"Love those one-out saves, wish I could get 100 of them," Franklin said.

Schumaker drove in Jon Jay with a double in the fourth off starter Hiroki Kuroda (7-8), who gave up one run and four hits over six innings. He struck out eight and walked one.

Jay, who had a 12-game hitting streak snapped, reached on a fielder's choice with one out, barely beating the throw to first. Yadier Molina followed with a single and Schumaker hit a line drive just beyond the reach of first baseman James Loney.

Kuroda turned in a courageous effort, according to Los Angeles manager Joe Torre, but simply ran out of steam and asked to come out after six innings.

"He kept digging a hole but he kept fighting his way out," Torre said. "We straightened out our pitching today. I thought it was terrific."

Ryan, who entered in the seventh, drove in Albert Pujols with a sacrifice fly in the eighth. Pujols walked and Matt Holliday singled off reliever Jeff Weaver.

"Everybody's contributing. Hopefully we'll just keep rolling," Ryan said. "Everybody is taking good at-bats."

Wainwright threw 89 pitches on a hot day, 55 for strikes. The temperature reached 94 degrees during the game, with a heat index of 107.

"It was a really difficult game to play. That's been true for 100 years, especially in this town," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "Both starting pitchers were outstanding."

Kuroda said the heat was a factor.

"But both pitchers had to put up with it," he said through a translator.

The sweltering weather also bothered Loney, who cramped up while batting in the ninth inning and took an IV after the game. He said he'll be ready to play Sunday.

Rafael Furcal and Blake DeWitt had two hits each for the Dodgers.

Pujols went 0 for 3 with a walk.

Game notes
Tennis player Anna Kournikova threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Kournikova plays for the St. Louis Aces of World Team Tennis. "It was really a lot of fun," she said. "I'm happy to support the Cardinals." ... Los Angeles has lost 14 of 17 at the new Busch Stadium. ... Holliday has a league-leading 10 home runs and 27 RBIs since June 18. ... Vicente Padilla, the Dodgers' scheduled starter Sunday, is 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA since returning from the disabled list on June 19. ... Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo, who threw a scoreless inning, has retired his last 32 left-handed batters.