ST. LOUIS (AP) — Adam Wainwright can't explain his mastery over the Houston Astros. St. Louis' All-Star is simply enjoying the ride.
Wainwright picked up his National League-tying 12th win with seven scoreless innings and Matt Holliday hit his team-high 13th home run to lead the Cardinals to a 9-5 win over the Astros on Tuesday night.
Matt Carpenter had three hits and drove in three runs for St. Louis, which has won four in a row and five of six.
Houston dropped its ninth in the last 11 and leads the majors with 58 losses.
Wainwright (12-5) improved to 13-1 in 15 career starts against Houston. His 1.56 ERA against the Astros is his lowest for any opponent.
"It's just one of those weird things," he said. "I've matched up well with them over the years. I think my first real quality game as a starter in 2007 came against them."
Wainwright won three successive starts against Houston at the beginning of the 2007 campaign. He allowed just four runs over 20 innings in beginning his personal run against the Astros.
He allowed five hits, struck out nine and walked one on Tuesday. The right-hander, who will make his second All-Star appearance next week, has won seven successive starts against his former NL Central rival. His lone loss to the Astros was a 2-0 setback on Aug. 2, 2009.
Wainwright, who is tied with Washington's Jordan Zimmermann (12-3) for most wins in the NL, was in complete control. He retired the first five batters and never looked back.
"It's never easy against a big-league squad, but I felt I stayed out of trouble for the most part," Wainwright said.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny agreed.
"He just came out and established his breaking ball," Matheny said. "He used different speeds and moved in-and-out with his fastball. Just terrific."