Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/9/12

ST. LOUIS - Adam Wainwright could do nothing but watch Wednesday night as the San Francisco Giants put a 15-0 whipping on the St. Louis Cardinals. On Thursday, he made certain it didn't happen again.

Wainwright scattered five hits over seven innings and limited the Giants to only one run in pitching the Cardinals to a 3-1 victory less than 18 hours after one of the most lopsided shutout losses in St. Louis franchise history.

Wainwright said he was more focused on this start because of what happened Wednesday night.

"If there's a challenge out there, not that you need more motivation, but it allows you to focus a little bit more and focus in on exactly what your task is," Wainwright said.

And his task on this day was to stop a Cardinals' two-game slide before it became a three-game losing streak at a time the team is battling to stay alive in the NL Central Division race and the wild card race.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Wainwright is, "one of those stoppers that can take a bad run or something heading in the wrong direction and turn it around with a solid start. We're fortunate to have that. Waino certainly is the guy right now. He gave us a great opportunity to right the ship today."

The only run Wainwright allowed came in the fifth, when the Giants loaded the bases with one out on singles by Joaquin Arias and pitcher Madison Bumgarner and a walk to Angel Pagan. Marco Scutaro delivered a sacrifice fly to score Arias, but Wainwright then got out of the inning by retiring Melky Cabrera on a pop to short.

"He threw well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Wainwright. "I was hoping Scutaro's ball would get heavy there and drop in for us. (Center fielder Jon) Jay made a nice play on it. That was probably the turning point of the game. If that ball falls in, we've got something going on pretty good there. We had some pretty good at bats, but just couldn't get a timely hit."

Wainwright evened his record at 10-10 as he struck out seven, including Hunter Pence three times, and walked three before turning the game over to the bullpen for the final two innings, stranding seven runners on base. He needed 119 pitches - the most he has thrown in a game since 2009 -- to get through the seven innings.

Wainwright, who missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, believes he is improving with each game he pitches.

"I feel very confident on the mound," he said. "I feel like I'm repeating my delivery and making pitches like I used to. It just took me awhile to get back there. I was watching my first start against the Giants from earlier this year and I was just brutal. I knew I was bad; I didn't know I was that bad. I've come a long way since then. I'm a completely different pitcher from the beginning of the season."

The Cardinals gave Wainwright all the runs he would need in the first inning when Jay led off with a single and two batters later Carlos Beltran connected on an inside pitch for his 27th home run. The RBIs increased Beltran's NL-leading total to 80.

"I guess I threw too many pitches in a row in there," Bumgarner said. "It was pretty much where I wanted to throw it, I didn't think he would keep it fair, but he did. That was ultimately what cost us the game."

Bumgarner fell to 12-7 for the season despite allowing only three hits in his six innings of work. Following Beltran's homer, he did not allow another hit until Jay led off the sixth with a double. Jay then stole third and scored on Allen Craig's sacrifice fly.

NOTES: Prior to the game, the Cardinals traded infielder Tyler Greene to the Astros for future considerations. They are expected to call up an infielder from their farm system prior to Friday night's game in Philadelphia. Greene had hit just .218 in 77 games this season ... San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval was eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday but instead will report to Class A San Jose on Friday for a short rehab assignment. The Giants hope he can be activated either Sunday or Monday. Sandoval has been out with a sore left hamstring ... Scutaro's seven RBIs in the Giants' 15-0 win over the Cardinals Wednesday night made him, at 36, the oldest player in franchise history to knock in that many runs in a game. It also was the first seven-RBI game by a Giant since Jeff Kent in 2001 ... The Giants return home on Friday after the 5-2 trip to begin a series against the Colorado Rockies. Tim Lincecum (6-11) will oppose Tyler Chatwood (1-2) ... Kyle Lohse (12-2) will pitch the Friday opener for the Cardinals in Philadelphia against Roy Halladay (5-6).

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