(SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Wainwright tries to stay in the driver's seat when he leads the St. Louis Cardinals into Sunday's rubber match of a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Wainwright posted his second shutout of the season his last time out in Tuesday's 5-0 blanking of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He recorded the first one- hitter of his career, struck out nine and did not walk a batter.
"I knew early on in my warmup session that I was going to have good stuff," Wainwright said. "Today, I just felt like my body was in control. And when my body is in control and getting to the right checkpoints to throw a baseball, you throw it where you want it. It's not rocket science."
The gifted right-hander is trying to become the National League's first eight- game winner and has pitched at least seven innings in eight of 10 starts, going 7-2 with a 1.85 earned run average. Wainwright is 4-2 in six road starts and will face the Reds for the second time this season. He threw seven shutout innings against them on Opening Day in a 1-0 road win.
Wainwright owns a 6-9 record and 4.75 ERA in 21 career meetings (16 starts) with Cincinnati. He is 4-0 in five night starts this season.
Mike Leake will counter Wainwright for the Reds and is 0-2 in his last six outings. He posted his third straight no-decision in Monday's 4-3 win at Washington and limited the Nationals to a run in 6 2/3 frames.
Leake, who is 2-3 in nine starts to go along with 2.91 ERA, has a 1-3 record in eight starts under the lights. He defeated St. Louis on the road April 9, when he fired eight scoreless innings and scattered four hits in a 4-0 win.
The right-handed Leake has made 10 career appearances (9 starts) against the Cardinals, going 3-4 with a 5.06 ERA.
St. Louis shoots for a series win over the rival Reds and evened the set with Saturday's 6-3 win behind 5 2/3 strong innings from starting pitcher Jaime Garcia, who allowed two runs and struck out seven batters.
"It's a 'W' for me, a 'W' for the team," Garcia said. "That's what is most important here. It's obviously exciting to go out there and feel healthy, and to go out there and try to compete."
Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal was called on to get the final out of the game and registered his 15th save of the season.
Yadier Molina homered and Matt Holliday posted three hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Cardinals, who have won eight of the past 10 games and rebounded from Friday's 5-3 loss. Jon Jay went 3-for-4 with two RBI.
The Cards will start a nine-game homestand Monday versus the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals.
Cincinnati had a two-game winning streak come to an end Saturday and lost for the fourth time in the past seven tries. Tony Cingrani took the hill for the Reds and was dealt the loss for surrendering four runs and seven hits, including a home run, in six innings.
Ryan Ludwick homered and Brandon Phillips ended 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI for Cincinnati.
"It wasn't a great game," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We didn't put enough pressure on Garcia early in the game."
Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco were both 0-for-4.
The Reds will hit the road after Sunday's game to start a seven-game journey against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Memorial Day, followed by a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Reds are 1-9 in the last 10 series with the Cardinals and 3-5 in eight meetings this season.