ST. LOUIS – Adam Wainwright earned his 19th win with a dominant performance and Colby Rasmus homered and scored twice, helping the St. Louis Cardinals take three of four from the San Diego Padres with a 4-1 victory Sunday.
Jon Garland (14-12) allowed four runs in seven innings for the Padres, who have lost 12 of their last 13 in St. Louis. San Diego dropped only its second series of the season against an NL Central opponent.
Will Venable had two hits and a walk for the Padres, who began the day with a half-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West. They're 4-7 in their last 11 and 7-17 since Aug. 26, when they had a 6½-game cushion.
Wainwright (19-11) won for just the second time in seven starts and matched his victory total from last season, allowing a run and five hits in eight innings with seven strikeouts. The Padres were held hitless until Venable singled to start the sixth and spoiled a shutout bid on Adrian Gonzalez's RBI single in the eighth.
Ryan Franklin worked the ninth for his 25th save in 27 chances — his first chance since Sept. 5.
The Padres loaded the bases on all three of Wainwright's walks with two outs in the fourth before Chase Headley struck out. They had two hits in the sixth before Gonzalez flied out and Ryan Ludwick grounded out sharply to shortstop to end the inning.
Wainwright is 12-4 at home and has allowed two runs in 22 innings against the Padres, losing 1-0 on May 25 in San Diego. The right-hander, who was 19-8 last year, tied Philadelphia's Roy Halladay and Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez for the NL lead in wins.
Four straight Cardinals reached with one out in the first, with Matt Holliday getting an RBI single and Pedro Feliz adding a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead. Rasmus singled and scored on Brendan Ryan's sacrifice fly in the fourth, then hit his 23rd homer leading off the sixth.
Rasmus had been 1 for 9 against Garland before going 2 for 2 with a walk.
Garland matched his season high for innings, but is 1-4 with a 5.09 ERA in his last five starts. He beat Wainwright with seven shutout innings May 25.
NOTES: The Padres are 24-10 against the NL Central, the other series loss coming when the Brewers took two of three at Milwaukee from Aug. 20-22. ... The Cardinals will play a rainout makeup Monday at Florida. They're scheduled to play their final 31 games without a day off. ... The Cardinals have outscored opponents 104-65 in the first inning. ... The Cardinals topped 3 million in paid attendance for the seventh straight season and 14th overall with a crowd of 37,885. They're the fourth team to top 3 million this season, following the Yankees, Dodgers and Phillies.