Following Wainwright's gem, Cards turn to Wacha vs. D'backs

( - Michael Wacha has a tough act to follow when the St. Louis Cardinals resume a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday from Busch Stadium.

Wacha takes the mound one night after staff ace Adam Wainwright threw the first one-hitter of his career in Tuesday's 5-0 win. Wainwright struck out nine batters and did not allow a walk, and the only hit he allowed was Paul Goldschmidt's double in the fourth inning.

"That was fun to watch," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny about Wainwright's performance. "He had a great feel for everything that he threw today."

Wainwright registered the eighth shutout and 18th complete game of his career.

Matt Adams hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Jhonny Peralta also went deep for St. Louis, which won for the sixth time in eight tries and is 5-2 on a nine-game homestand.

The Cardinals are 2 1/2 games behind Milwaukee for the NL Central lead and will send Wacha to the mound hoping he can follow in Wainwright's footsteps. Wacha ended a five-start winless drought (0-3) his previous time out in last Thursday's 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs. He fired seven innings of two-run ball in that one, pushing his record to 3-3 in nine starts with a 2.82 ERA.

Wacha, a right-hander, has made one career start against the D'backs and was reached for six runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings of a 7-6 loss last June 4 for the no-decision.

Arizona has been playing well lately, but is still in the basement of the NL West. Goldschmidt produced the only hit for the Diamondbacks and has hit safely in 18 of 23 road games.

Gerardo Parra finished 0-for-4 and had a 12-game road hitting streak come to an end for Arizona, which entered the game with a 10-6 mark in the past 16 games. The D'backs are still 8-4 in their last 12 road games.

D'backs starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo was hammered for five runs and nine hits in seven innings to take the loss and fell to 4-3.

"Well maybe (Arroyo) wasn't quite as sharp with the movement on his pitches or the location of his pitches, but you've got the Cardinals some credit, too. They played a good game tonight behind a very good pitcher," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson.

Arizona starters are still 8-4 this month and Brandon McCarthy tries to improve that mark Wednesday. McCarthy has struggled this season to the tune of 1-6 with a 5.01 earned run average in nine starts, and pitched well his last time out in a 5-1 win over Washington last Wednesday.

McCarthy held the Nationals to a run and two hits in eight innings with seven strikeouts and no walks for a no-decision. He has 12 K's and no walks in his past two trips to the hill and the D'backs are 1-8 in his outings this season.

The right-hander has made one start in his career against the Cardinals and allowed six runs in five innings in a 10-9 win last April 3. He did not figure into the decision.

The D'backs won four of seven games against St. Louis last season.