ST. LOUIS — Adam Wainwright joined Boston's Josh Beckett as the only 14-game winners in the majors and contributed his fifth career homer to a 15-hit attack in the St. Louis Cardinals' 9-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday night.
The Cardinals battered rookie Mat Latos (4-2) for seven runs and eight hits in four-plus innings. The 21-year-old had won his previous four starts, and was the first pitcher in Padres history to win four of his first five career starts.
Matt Holliday had three hits and three RBIs and his two-run single in the fifth was a key blow for the NL Central leaders, who have won six of seven and have beaten the Padres seven straight at home.
Wainwright (14-7) scattered eight hits in seven innings, his 10th straight start allowing two or fewer earned runs. He escaped his only real trouble in the seventh when the Padres loaded the bases with three straight one-out singles by getting pinch-hitter Luis Rodriguez on a double-play ball.
St. Louis' slow-footed catcher Yadier Molina contributed his seventh stolen base in eight attempts — he's two away from tying the franchise record for the position — to go with two hits and an RBI.
Wainwright worked six or more innings for the 23rd consecutive start, the longest streak in the majors, and hasn't walked a batter in 23 2-3 innings over four starts dating to July 28. His second homer of the season wasn't window dressing, either, a rocket over the left-field wall off an 0-1 fastball leading off the third for the Cardinals' first run.
The hard-throwing Latos had been holding opponents to a .190 average and was coming off successive victories over the Mets, Braves, Reds and Nationals before getting cuffed around by St. Louis. Holliday's bases-loaded single through a drawn-in infield on a full count with no outs in the fifth put the Cardinals ahead 5-0, and Ryan Ludwick and Molina added RBI singles off Edward Mujica later in the inning.
Last month, Latos worked a scoreless fourth inning in the All-Star Futures Game in St. Louis.
The Padres averted a shutout on Kevin Kouzmanoff's two-run homer off Jason Motte in the ninth. Motte has allowed nine homers in 41 2-3 innings.
NOTES: The Cardinals will give rookie RHP Mitchell Boggs, who replaced injured Todd Wellemeyer in a 5-4 loss to the Reds on Tuesday, another shot as the fifth starter on Tuesday at Los Angeles. Chris Carpenter will jump ahead of him in the rotation, however, with a day off Thursday putting the 12-game winner on regular rest. ... C Tom Pagnozzi stole nine bases for St. Louis in 1991, although in 22 attempts, and Tim McCarver was 9 for 15 in 1966. ... The Cardinals turned three double plays for a season total of 126. They entered tied for first in the NL with Houston. ... Holliday is a career .463 hitter at 4-year-old Busch with eight homers and 18 RBIs.