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Adam Wainwright tosses complete game on his 39th birthday, Cardinals cruise to 7-2 victory

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina, left, celebrates with Adam Wainwright after Wainwright pitched nine complete innings against the Cleveland Indians, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)
St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina, left, celebrates with Adam Wainwright after Wainwright pitched nine complete innings against the Cleveland Indians, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)(Scott Kane | AP)
Published: Aug. 30, 2020 at 4:12 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2020 at 4:28 PM CDT
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(AP) - Adam Wainwright turned back the clock with a complete game on his 39th birthday as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 Sunday.

The oldest active player in the majors, Wainwright threw a four-hitter for his 23rd career complete game and first in four years. The Cardinals snapped a four-game skid in which they scored six total runs.

Dexter Fowler homered and had three RBIs for St. Louis, which stopped Cleveland’s four-game winning streak. The Indians had won nine in a row on the road.

Wainwright (3-0) settled in after allowing a two-run homer to Tyler Naquin in the second inning. The right-hander struck out nine and walked two, going the distance for the first time since July 16, 2016, against the Marlins.

Just as important, he gave a much-needed breather to a bullpen that worked 15 1/3 innings over the previous two games.

Fowler’s two-run double was followed by Dylan Carlson’s two-run single to give the Cardinals a 4-2 lead in the second. St. Louis had mustered just three runs in the past 28 innings before the outburst.

Paul Goldschmidt scored on a balk by Aaron Civale in the third.

Fowler sent the second pitch from reliever Cam Hill into the Cardinals’ bullpen behind the right-field wall leading off the seventh. Yadier Molina made it 7-2 with an RBI single in the eighth.

Naquin lined a changeup just over the right-field fence to put the Indians ahead 2-0 in the second. It was originally ruled a double, but a replay review showed the ball cleared the wall instead of bouncing off it.

The drive extended Naquin’s hitting streak to 10 games.

Civale (3-4) gave up a season-high five runs in six innings.

PITCHING CYCLE

With the start against the Indians, Wainwright has made at least one versus every team except the Cardinals.

MORE MILESTONES

Molina played in his 2,000th game, third-most in franchise history. The star catcher’s second-inning single gave him 1,981 career hits, passing Red Schoendienst for sixth place in franchise history.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals RHP Ryan Helsley (COVID-19) threw a bullpen and will join the team on its upcoming road trip. St. Louis manager Mike Shildt expects Helsley to be activated early this week.

UP NEXT

Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (6-0, 1.35 ERA) starts Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Kansas City. Bieber pitched six innings as Cleveland beat the Royals 2-0 in the first game of the season July 24. Brad Keller (3-1, 2.08) goes for Kansas City.

Cardinals: RHP Dakota Hudson (0-2, 3.32 ERA) begins a three-game series in Cincinnati when he faces RHP Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 5.71) on Monday night. Hudson is 3-0 with a 3.16 ERA in five career starts against the Reds.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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