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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Adam Wainwright sprinted to the mound for the ninth inning, sending a message that he had plenty left. He pretended not to notice when the bullpen got busy, and he avoided eye contact with manager Mike Matheny.
Without saying a word, the St. Louis Cardinals ace told them all to stand down, he had this one.
“To pitch a game like that was one of the highlights of my baseball life, no doubt,” Wainwright said after throwing a complete game to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Wednesday night and put the Cardinals in the NL championship series for the third straight season.
“These are the moments that starting pitchers live for.”
David Freese’s two-run homer in the second inning off rookie Gerrit Cole was all Wainwright needed. The right-hander also had won Game 1 and allowed one run in 16 innings in two dominant outings against the Pirates.
The Cardinals are 8-1 when facing postseason elimination the last three years, and they get to stay at home to open the championship series against the well-rested Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.
“It’s going to be a blast,” Freese said. “It’s going to be fun, St. Louis and L.A. going at it.”
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