. . . night at Wrigley.
Another strong performance by the starter.
Another 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the 9th.
Another blown save.
Soriano’s turn. (AP photo)
Adam Wainwright, facing the team that shelled him in the Birds’ home opener, pitched very well this evening. Six innings, 6 hits, 1 earned run, 7 Ks, and he kept the ball on the ground. Down 1-0 when he was lifted, Wain-O hopefully felt okay about this performance, especially after three very rocky starts before. The offense, which hasn’t done much for him yet this season, finally roused itself when Matt Holliday launched a 2-out, 2-run homer to give the Birds the lead in the top of the 8th.
Then came the 9th.
Manager Mike Matheny called in Marc Rzepczynski, who served up a home run with his very first pitch to Bryan LaHair, last night’s Cubs’ hero, to tie the game. Various other embarrassments threatened to end the contest then and there, but the Cardinals managed to take it into extra innings.
Bottom 10, with Fernando Salas on the hill, 2 on and 2 out, Alfonso Soriano worked the count to 3-2 and then handcuffed 2nd baseman Tyler with a ground ball that took a sharp hop.
The Cardinals have now lost their first series of the season, and their record is 11-7. They’ve lost 4 out of their last 6. The team that scored 70 runs in its first 12 games has scored 9 in its last 6. The bullpen that looked so reliable has now blown two 9th-inning leads in a row.
Lance Lynn tries to salvage something out of this trip to Wrigley tomorrow.