Wainwright Wins His 20th As Cards Crush Cubs

CHICAGO (AP) - Adam Wainwright pitched six innings for his 20th

victory and Allen Craig hit a three-run homer in the St. Louis

Cardinals' 7-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.

Wainwright joined CC Sabathia and Roy Halladay as baseball's

third 20-game winner one season after no big league pitchers

accomplished the feat.

Wainwright (20-11) coasted after getting staked a 3-0 lead in

the first inning. The right-hander allowed one run on six hits,

striking out seven and walking one. He tied Halladay for the NL

lead in strikeouts with 213 and lowered his ERA to 2.42, second

behind Marlins starter Josh Johnson in the NL. The 28-year-old

improved to 19-0 when receiving 4-plus runs a game in support.

Wainwright led the NL with 19 wins last season and became the

first Cardinals pitcher to win 20 games since Chris Carpenter went

21-5 in 2005.

The Cardinals temporarily held the Reds' magic number to three

in the NL Central. The Cardinals trail the Reds by seven games with

nine left. Cincinnati was playing at San Diego on Friday night.

The Cubs got only 3 1-3 innings from starter Tom Gorzelanny

(7-9) one day after they went through five relievers in a 13-0 loss

to the Giants. Gorzelanny allowed seven runs on seven hits and

walked five with four strikeouts. He pitched for the first time

since Sept. 1, when he was hit in the hand by a line drive in a win

over the Pirates.

St. Louis has won back-to-back games after losing three straight

and improved to 5-8 against the Cubs on the season.

Albert Pujols walked with two outs in the first inning and Matt

Holliday extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single.

Then Craig followed with a three-run shot to left on a 3-2 pitch.

It was his third homer of the season. Craig was a late addition to

the lineup. Craig took Nick Stavinoha's spot in the lineup after

Stavinoha was scratched with a jammed right knee.

After Brendan Ryan doubled in the second inning, Wainwright

helped his own cause with an RBI double down the left-field line.

Pujols stole third base in the third inning and scored on

Craig's double-play grounder. Pedro Feliz reached on an infield hit

and scored from first on Matt Pagnozzi's double to give the

Cardinals a 6-1 lead.

Gorzelanny left the game after loading the bases with one out in

the fourth, reliever Justin Berg struck out Holliday, but walked

pinch hitter Jon Jay on four straight pitches before retiring the

side.

Ramirez tagged Wainwright for a long leadoff home run to center

in the second inning. Ramirez's 24th homer of the season and was

estimated at 424 feet.

St. Louis reliever Kyle McClellan pitched two scoreless innings

and Ryan Franklin pitched a perfect ninth.

NOTES: Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig attended the game. ...

Holliday has his longest hitting streak of the season. ... Cubs CF

Marlon Byrd left the game after the third inning. He fouled a pitch

off his helmet during his at-bat in the third inning then was

replaced after striking out. ... Stavinoha pinch hit in the ninth

and grounded out.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)