ST. LOUIS (AP) — Adam Wainwright's day started as badly as it could but ended up just fine.
Wainwright gave up Junior Lake's homer on his first pitch and allowed six more hits and three runs after that. But he saved a tired bullpen by sticking around for seven innings Saturday and leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.
It was hardly a vintage performance by Wainwright (2-1), who struck out eight and helped his own cause with an RBI single. The four runs were twice as many as he yielded in his first two starts.
"It was OK," said Wainwright, who led the majors with 241 2-3 innings pitched last year. "I think because our offense was so great, I did what they needed me to do, just go a little later in the game and give the bullpen guys some rest."
St. Louis relievers Carlos Martinez, Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal all threw more than 20 pitches in Friday night's 11-inning loss.
"We needed that," manager Mike Matheny said about Wainwright's outing. "There were a couple of guys we were wanting to stay away from, for sure."
In hindsight, Wainwright said there were only a few pitches he wanted back — including his first one.
"He's an aggressive hitter," Wainwright said. "I should have known he was going to be swinging there. That's OK to throw a fastball when you know they're swinging, but you've just got to locate your heater."
The win was Wainwright's 101st with the Cardinals, tying Matt Morris, Larry Jackson and Max Lanier for 10th place on the franchise list.
Matt Adams homered and Matt Carpenter drove in two runs for the Cardinals. Daniel Descalso also had two hits with an RBI and two runs scored.
Adams hit his first home run of the season, a leadoff shot in the second inning, and Jon Jay drove in two runs with a single.
"It was nice to get some runs, especially for Adam and let him do his thing," Matheny said. "We took some good at-bats right from the top."
The Cubs' Nate Schierholtz, who had four hits Friday night, had two doubles and an RBI.
"We did some good things, especially against Wainwright, who is an excellent pitcher," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "We just didn't do enough."