St. Louis' Adam Wainwright threw a gem Wednesday against the Braves to win his sixth game of the season. (Reuters)
ATLANTA -- Allowing one run over eight innings may be impressive for a lot of major league pitchers. It's come to be expected from St. Louis right-hander Adam Wainwright.
"Typical Waino," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "We needed something, and he gave it to us."
Wainwright had his sixth quality start in eight appearances and became the National League's first six-game winner Wednesday in the Cardinals' 7-1 win over the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.
Wainwright (6-2) kept the Braves off balance most of the night by changing speeds effectively and getting ahead in the count. He threw 103 pitches, 72 for strikes, and four times stranded runners at second base. Wainwright allowed six hits, struck out six and walked one.
Matheny debated whether to let Wainwright complete the game, but the manager opted to use Seth Maness in the ninth in a non-save situation.
Wainwright improved to 8-2 against Atlanta, the team that drafted him and traded him to St. Louis in 2004. It was his 105th career win, which moved him into a tie with Mort Cooper for ninth on the team's all-time list.
Third baseman Matt Carpenter, left fielder Matt Holliday and center fielder Peter Bourjos each had three hits for the Cardinals, who totaled 13 off four Atlanta pitchers.
St. Louis has won three of its last four, while Atlanta has lost eight of its last nine.
Atlanta's Mike Minor (0-2) was not effective in his second start since returning from the disabled list. Minor gave up six runs on 11 hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings, with six strikeouts. Minor allowed at least one run in four of the five innings he started.
"His secondary pitches were not really sharp," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "They were kind of roly-poly over the strike zone and Wainwright was pretty good. It was not so good for our guy and real good for their guy, and that's the kind of game you're going to get."
The Cardinals got a run in the second inning when Bourjos hit his first homer of the season. Bourjos lined the first pitch he saw from Minor into the stands in left-center field.
"That was a big spark for us," Matheny said. "Sometimes that's something Wainwright needs."
St. Louis tacked on another run in the third inning. Wainwright led off with a double off the wall in left. Third baseman Matt Carpenter bunted down the third-base line; Minor fielded it and considered throwing to third but wound up throwing late to first.
With runners on the corners, catcher Yadier Molina grounded into a double play that allowed Wainwright to score.
The Braves got a run back in the third inning. Left fielder Justin Upton lined a double into the gap in left and scored when first baseman Freddie Freeman hooked an opposite-field double into the left-field corner.
"We had a chance to get back in it and we didn't get a run," Gonzalez said.
The Cards scored three times in the fourth. Bourjos singled and went to third on a single by Wainwright. Bourjos scored on Carpenter's opposite-field single to left that came on a no-ball, two-strike count. After Molina walked to load the bases, Holliday fisted a two-RBI single into left.
St. Louis added another run in the fifth. Shortstop Jhonny Peralta doubled and scored one out later on a single by Bourjos.
St. Louis scored again in the ninth off left-handed reliever Luis Avilan. Carpenter doubled and scored on Holliday's two-out single.
NOTES: Georgia State University in Atlanta has made a proposal to purchase and develop Turner Field and the surrounding parking lots. The school would convert the park into a football stadium with a capacity of around 30,000. The school currently plays football in the Georgia Dome. Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed said he knew of four active proposals for Turner Field, which will be vacant when the Braves move to suburban Cobb County in 2017. ... Atlanta signed 2B David Nick, 24, to a minor league contract. Nick was Arizona's fourth-round draft choice in 2009 and never got higher than Double-A. Nick was assigned to Class A Lynchburg.