Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 5/27/12
ST. LOUIS Adam Wainwright continued his post-Tommy John resurgence Sunday afternoon on a steamy day at Busch Stadium. Roy Halladay may have finally provided some answers for his rough start. In a battle of two former 20-game winners, Wainwright allowed just one run in six innings and picked up his second straight win while Halladay allowed a grand slam to Yadier Molina and departed after two innings due to shoulder soreness. "You just felt like we were walking into a heavyweight bout and these guys were just going to have to slug it out," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "Waino was sharp and the guys came out ready to go, but the home run by Yadi was a big deal, to just give us that shot in the arm." It's been a battle for much of the season for Halladay, who entered the game with an uncharacteristically high 3.58 ERA. He allowed a two-out first inning grand slam to Molina, giving him at least four earned runs in consecutive starts for the first time since 2010. The anticipated pitcher's duel never developed due to Halladay's early exit, which may have finally shed some light as to why the All-Star has had such a slow start. Halladay admitted afterwards that he began feeling shoulder soreness during his last start and that he decided to exit early Sunday when the pain remained and didn't go away. "I thought it was something I could get through, but it didn't progress the way I thought it would," Halladay said. "I'm hoping it's something we can calm down quickly and get back out there. That's obviously my hope and it's not to the point where I am in agony throwing pitches. "I didn't feel it on any one specific pitch and that's a little comforting because usually if it's something serious you can pretty much pinpoint exactly when it happened and that's not the case." While Halladay may at least be temporarily trending downward, Wainwright's stock is skyrocketing. Juan Pierre's two-out, run-scoring single in the second inning was the only damage done against the right-hander, who was removed after 87 pitches because the Cardinals saw no need to push it on a brutally hot afternoon in St. Louis. Wainwright tossed his first shutout since returning from Tommy John surgery on Tuesday against the Phillies. He backed that performance up Sunday with another solid outing and has allowed just three earned runs in his last 21 13 innings. "I like where I'm at right now," Wainwright said. "I just want to keep going. At this point I'm just out there pitching. I feel comfortable on the mound again. The old me is the new me. I don't think we have to talk about that anymore. I think it's just a matter of going out there and executing pitches." Both starters have experienced unusual failures to start the year. Halladay entered Sunday with a 5.40 ERA in May and watched it rise even further following a four-run Cardinals first inning. The Phillies have won just one of the two-time Cy Young Award winner's last eight starts. But we may now know why. Pitching coach Rick Dubee admitted to reporters afterwards that Halladay has been dealing with a "cranky" shoulder for a while and that it may extend back before the last two starts. Wainwright hasn't been his usual self either, but he's got a fairly valid reason. The right-hander is looking to regain form after missing all of the 2011 season due to the elbow surgery and was 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA in his first five starts. He tied a career high with eight earned runs in the Cardinals' home opener against the Chicago Cubs on April 13 to start a string of allowing at least four earned runs in a span of six starts. But things have slowly begun to turn for Wainwright. He has a 2.80 ERA over his last seven starts, aided recently by a mechanical change discovered during a bullpen session in Los Angeles to lower his arm slot a bit. In two starts since the change, Wainwright is 2-0 and has allowed just one earned run in 15 innings. "I was just trying to keep that ball rolling," Wainwright said. "I made some good adjustments and I wanted to make sure they weren't short lived. I wanted to make sure I stayed in the moment and went pitch by pitch and kept the focus on executing. "I think the in between San Francisco and San Diego I made some adjustments that really clicked and really made me feel comfortable out there. The ball really started coming out a lot better from there. That was really the turning point." Halladay expects to see a doctor Tuesday to get a better read on his ailing right shoulder. Wainwright is done with the doctor's visits. He's back. And it's starting to show.
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