Cards Beat Rays 1-0
Photo: Image by Major League Baseball
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The St. Louis Cardinals are pitching so well all they need right now to win is one run.
Adam Wainwright became the NL's first nine-game winner, and the Cardinals beat Tampa Bay 1-0 on Tuesday night, the Rays' third straight shutout loss.
The Cardinals have three consecutive shutouts for the first time since April 2013. St. Louis, with 13 shutouts this season, was coming off 5-0 victories over Toronto on Saturday and Sunday.
"Our starting pitching has been extremely good these last few, to say the least," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.
It is the Cardinals' first stretch of three consecutive road shutouts since Sept. 29, 1962-April 10, 1963 when St. Louis had four in a row.
"Pretty amazing," said St. Louis slugger Matt Holliday, who homered.
Tampa Bay has been shut out an AL-leading 10 times this season. The Rays, who have lost 14 of 15, have not scored a run in a club-record 28 innings.
"It's kind of weird to watch because it just doesn't stay that negative for that long normally," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It just doesn't but it has. This is truly one of those anomaly moments where we've got to stick together as a group."
Wainwright (9-3) scattered seven hits over seven innings. Trevor Rosenthal got the final four outs, including a base-loaded pop fly by Matt Joyce in the eighth, for his 17th save.
Holliday put the Cardinals up 1-0 with his fourth homer this season, a long drive to left center with two outs in the sixth off tough-luck loser Jake Odorizzi (2-7).
Holliday and Kolten Wong both returned to the Cardinals lineup. Holliday was scratched Sunday due to a sore lower back, while Wong sat out three games with left shoulder soreness.
Holliday said his back is still a little stiff.
"Loosened up enough so I could get some good swings," he said.
Odorizzi, a Cardinals' fan who grew up about 30 miles from Busch Stadium, had a strong performance in his first game against St. Louis. The right-hander gave up one run and three hits in a career-high 7 1-3 innings.
"Today I felt I was really executing my pitches and nothing they could do was going to beat me," Odorizzi said. "One mistake by me and I got beat. It was the best outing I've ever had in the big leagues."
Odorizzi had allowed one baserunner, a fourth-inning walk to Holliday, before giving up consecutive two-out singles in the fifth to Jhonny Peralta and John Jay. The inning ended on a fly ball by Peter Bourjos.
The Rays threatened in both the first and fourth innings. Ben Zobrist hit a fly ball with two on to end the first. Logan Forsythe lined out to second with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth.
"It's a tough lineup, it really is," Wainwright said. "They're going through a funk, I know. As soon as we leave town, they're going to break out. I've got a feeling."
Sam Freeman inherited two runners and then got two key outs in the eighth before Rosenthal replaced him.