ST. LOUIS (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt had one of the best games of his career at an opportune time for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Goldschmidt hit a grand slam and a three-run homer to back Adam Wainwright, who pitched six innings of two-hit ball as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-0 on Friday night.
“Memorable for sure,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said of Goldschmidt’s performance. “That’s an obviously huge performance. He had a nice night, good swings, not trying to do too much.
“Also give the guys credit in front of him. You’ve got to have people on base to hit grand slams and three-run homers.”
The win gave the Cardinals a five-game lead over the third-place Brewers in the NL Central. St. Louis remained four games ahead of the Chicago Cubs, who defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 17-8 on Friday.
It was the seventh win in the past nine home games for the Cardinals, who went 3-3 on a road trip leading up to Friday. The Brewers had their seven-game winning streak snapped and fell out of a tie with Chicago for the second wild card spot.
Wainwright (12-9) struck out seven and walked three. In his past three games, he’s allowed one earned run in 20 innings.
Trent Grisham led off the game with a single and Orlando Arcia singled with two outs in the second, accounting for both Milwaukee hits in the game.
“I knew it was coming,” Wainwright said of his recent dominance. “I knew the adjustments I was making were going to be good. I just needed to go out and execute and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”
Adrian Houser (6-6) lasted three innings. He gave up four hits including Goldschmidt’s second grand slam of the season. He also struck out five and walked three. Goldschmidt connected on his second homer of the night and his 31st of the year in a six-run sixth. He cranked a 3-1 pitch from Jimmy Nelson to centerfield to record a career-high seven RBI. He now has 30 or more home runs in each of his past three seasons and five in his career.
Goldschmidt has feasted on Milwaukee pitching. He’s hitting .318 against the Brewers, with eight home runs and 20 RBI. He had a three homer game against the Brewers on March 29 in a 9-5 win at Milwaukee.
“I mean they’ve got me, too,” he said. “They struck me out twice (tonight) and last series I didn’t do that well against them. You face a team that many times there’s going to be games where you have success and times they get you out and you just keep going back and forth and see what happens.”
Houser allowed just two base runners in the first two innings, both via walks. But Wainwright doubled down the left-field line with one out in the third, Dexter Fowler walked and Kolten Wong barely beat out a bunt single to load the bases in front of Goldschmidt.
Goldschmidt lined a 2-2 pitch just over the left-field fence and into the Milwaukee bullpen for his first homer in 18 games.
“I didn’t feel really comfortable out there on the mound,” Houser said. “After the second inning, I was able to try and turn the corner there but I wasn’t able to repeat my mechanics. So, it wasn’t a good night out there.”
Wong had three hits in the game, including two bunts, and drove in two runs in the sixth to give St. Louis a 7-0 lead.
The Cardinals nearly had a second grand slam from pinch hitter Matt Carpenter earlier in the inning. Ben Gamel had to leap against the outfield wall to snag Carpenter’s sacrifice fly that drove in Yadier Molina.
A video tribute and a moment of silence was held prior to the game to honor former Cardinal Chris Duncan who died Sept. 6 after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. Duncan played four full seasons with St. Louis from 2006-2009 and had an integral role in the team’s 2006 World Series run.
With its 10-3 win at Colorado on Thursday, St. Louis clinched at least a .500 record for the 12th consecutive season, during which the Cardinals have the third-best record (1,067-861) in the Majors. St. Louis and the New York Yankees are the only teams without a losing season during that span. The 12-year streak is second best in franchise history behind a 15-year stretch from 1939-53.
Brewers: RHP Jordan Lyles (10-8, 4.38) has won five of eight, with two no decisions, since joining the Brewers in late July. Milwaukee is 7-1 in games Lyles has started since his trade from PIttsburgh, including a 4-1 decision over the Cardinals on August 28 in Milwaukee in which he lasted 51/3 and struck out nine.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (10-7, 2.99) is coming off consecutive games in which he pitched eight scoreless innings and has earned the win in six of his past seven starts. His only loss during that stretch was the 4-1 decision on August 28 at Milwaukee where Flaherty gave up three runs over six innings.