By Ronald Blum
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Adam Wainwright used to be a creature of routine leading up to each start.
“Same sleeping shirt the night before,” the St. Louis Cardinals ace said. “I couldn’t wear blue jeans. I had to wear the color red. Are you kidding me? It was ridiculous. If I didn’t have any of that, or worse, if something was thrown off, then instantly I was thinking, ‘Oh, man, I’m in trouble.’ And that’s ridiculous. It has nothing to do with getting anyone out. I figured that out somewhere along the line.”
With rain falling in the morning and clashing forecasts for the afternoon, Wainwright wasn’t sure whether he’d pitch at all Thursday.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told him about 80 minutes before start time to get ready, so Wainwright shortened his pregame routine and then pitched seven scoreless innings to become the major leagues’ first 10-game winner. In a classic pitching matchup, his 2-1 victory over the New York Mets sent Matt Harvey to his first loss of the season.
“We had two Cy Young candidates going at each other,” said Matt Carpenter, who tripled in the go-ahead run in the third and preserved the lead with a sparkling stop at second base in the ninth.
Wainwright (10-3) retired his first 11 batters before David Wright’s single and allowed four hits, struck out six and walked two — including an intentional pass that caused the Mets to pinch hit for Harvey in the seventh.
Blue Jays 3, Rangers 1: ARLINGTON, Texas — Edwin Encarnacion hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Thursday night.
The slumping Rangers wasted another solid outing by Yu Darvish, who has made five consecutive starts without a victory.
Neal Cotts (2-1) replaced Darvish to start the eighth, when Emilio Bonifacio reached on a throwing error by Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre. Munenori Kawasaki had a sacrifice bunt before Tanner Scheppers, the second reliever, walked Jose Bautista before the double by Encarnacion.