Adam Wainwright tossed seven effective innings and rookie Edmundo Sosa homered to help the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Wainwright (9-6) allowed three runs and six hits in an 85-pitch stint. He struck out five and walked one in his 176th career victory.
Sosa went 3 for 3, scoring twice and driving in two runs. Dylan Carlson, who also had three hits, and Tommy Edman each doubled twice for St. Louis, which has won four of six.
Jorge Polanco homered for the Twins, who have lost four of five.
The 39-year-old Wainwright, who’s spent his entire 16 seasons in the majors with the Cardinals, beat Minnesota for the first time in his career. He’s beaten 26 of the other 29 teams in the big leagues — he is 0-1 against Texas, Baltimore and the New York Yankees.
Wainwright made his first appearance against Minnesota since a 3-1 loss on June 26, 2009.
Alex Reyes picked up his 25th save in 26 opportunities with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Wainwright’s biggest contribution may have come in a fourth inning at-bat. He battled Minnesota starter Michael Pineda (4-6) for 10 pitches before hitting a hard grounder to third baseman Luis Arraez, who threw a one-hopper that Miguel Sano was unable to handle at first base. Edman scored on the error to put St. Louis ahead to stay 3-2.
The Twins took a 2-0 lead on a two-run single by Andrelton Simmons in the first inning.
The Cardinals finished July 9 1/2 games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central. The last time they were that far behind entering August was 1999 when they were 11.5 games back of Houston with a 52-52 mark.
TRAINER’S ROOM: Twins: INF Josh Donaldson missed his third successive game with a hamstring issue.
UP NEXT: Twins: RHP Kenta Maeda (4-4, 4.40) will face Cincinnati RHP Tyler Mahle (8-3, 3.79) in the first of a two game series on Tuesday in Cincinnati on KWOA THE FAN. Maeda is 1-1 with 2.15 ERA over his last five starts.