(Sports Network) - Adam Wainwright takes aim at a National League-leading
15th victory of the season on Friday night when the St. Louis Cardinals play
the second contest of a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves.
Wainwright enters this start 14-7 with a 2.66 earned run average in 26 starts,
tying him with Washington's Jordan Zimmermann for the most wins in the league.
Wainwright has gone at least seven innings in six straight outings and in 21
of his 26 starts this year. He reached that mark on Sunday versus the Chicago
Cubs, allowing a run and striking out 11 to win for the first time in five
"I thought that was as good as he's been this season," Cardinals manager Mike
Matheny said of Wainwright. "He came out in the first and established all his
pitches and had great life. His curveball was as sharp as we've seen it, and
that made a difference."
The 31-year-old righty is 6-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 11 career meetings with the
Braves, including eight starts, but lost in Atlanta back on July 26.
Wainwright was charged with three earned runs and struck out eight over seven
The Braves counter with Kris Medlen, who has won each of his last four starts
but picked up a losing decision when pressed into emergency relief last
Saturday versus Washington.
Medlen pitched the final three frames of a 15-inning loss, giving up the
deciding run on a solo homer. He dropped to 10-11 with a 3.71 ERA in 25 games
this year, all but one of those starts.
Medlen, a 27-year-old righty, faced the Cards five times in relief before
making his first career start against them on July 28. He won a 5-2 decision
to finish off a three-game sweep at home, giving up two runs over six innings.
The Braves had won five straight and eight of their previous nine versus the
Cardinals prior to last night's 6-2 series-opening setback.
Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday stroked consecutive run-
scoring doubles during the decisive fifth inning for St. Louis, while David
Freese ended with two RBI to help the club win for the fifth time in six
That kept the Cardinals a game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for first place
in the NL Central.
St. Louis starter Joe Kelly held the Braves to two runs on seven hits and two
walks over six frames to notch his fifth victory in his last seven starts.
"I didn't have any of my good stuff today," Kelly admitted. "I just went out
there and just tried to battle the whole time. Nothing was easy."
Paul Maholm was activated off the 15-day disabled list prior to the game and
made his first start in just over a month due to a bruised left wrist. The
Atlanta southpaw allowed five runs -- four earned -- on five hits and three
walks over 5 1/3 innings to absorb the loss.
"For his first time starting in over a month, I think he did a nice job,"
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Maholm. "I thought he kept us in the
ball game and gave us an opportunity to win."
Justin Upton, who had missed the last two games with an upper back strain,
stroked a two-run homer to account for Atlanta's offense. It was Upton's
eighth homer of the month and came on the same day fellow outfielder Jason
Heyward underwent surgery to repair a fractured jaw suffered on Wednesday when
he was hit in the face by a pitch.
Heyward is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks of action.
Without the slugger, the Braves lost for only the fifth time in their past 25
games and still own a 14-game edge over Washington for first place in the NL
The Sports Network