ST. LOUIS — Jake Westbrook bounded out of the dugout for the ninth inning before manager Mike Matheny could change his mind.
The right-hander quickly finished off a five-hitter for his first shutout in more than six years, backed by four home runs in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 10-0 rout over the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday.
“He was making a statement,” Matheny said. “He wanted to make sure he gave the appearance he was ready to go. What a great day for him.”
Westbrook (1-1) hasn’t allowed an earned run in 15 2-3 innings this season, although he took the loss on an unearned run in a 1-0 setback to Barry Zito in San Francisco in his season debut. He relied heavily on a sinker against the Reds with 16 groundball outs.
“It always means a lot when you can finish what you started,” Westbrook said. “The ball was in the zone and really moving a lot. I guess I know when I’m good is when I get a lot of ground balls.”
The lineup made a statement, too. Jon Jay, Carlos Beltran and Matt Adams homered in a span of seven at-bats off Homer Bailey as the Cardinals took two of three from the NL Central champions after Cincinnati stunned them with a nine-run ninth in the home opener.
“It’s a great point about resiliency,” Matheny said. “They certainly showed a different brand the last two days.”
Matt Carpenter added a two-run homer on a four-hit day. Adams homered for the second straight game and added an RBI double and walk.
The Cardinals have dominated the Reds at home the last decade, losing just three of 28 series with two splits. They outscored them 15-1 the last two games of the series and the Reds were shut out for the first time in the finale.