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Wainwright’s return goes well for the Cardinals, who rally for a 10-6 win over the Diamondbacks

St. Louis Cardinals' Paul Goldschmidt connects for a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, July 24, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt connects for a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, July 24, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

BY DAVID BRANDT contributing

PHOENIX (AP) — Adam Wainwright has earned the trust of the St. Louis Cardinals’ top brass after nearly two decades of pitching excellence, so when the 41-year-old said he didn’t need any more rehab work and was ready to return from the injured list, they listened.

The right-hander didn’t disappoint.

Wainwright threw five solid innings, Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer and then a tying single in the ninth against his former team, and the Cardinals rallied for a 10-6 win over the skidding Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.

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“My main focus today, besides winning, was making sure I didn’t embarrass them,” Wainwright said of the organization. “That’s the best I’ve felt all year and it’s not even close.”

It was a back-and-forth game that saw Wainwright and the Cardinals take a 5-2 lead after five innings, only to watch the Diamondbacks push ahead 6-5 heading into the ninth. But St. Louis rallied against closer Andrew Chafin, loading the bases with one out.

That’s when Goldschmidt sent a full-count pitch into left field for a single that made it 6-all. Chafin (2-3) struck out Nolan Arenado for the second out but then walked Lars Nootbaar, which forced home Willson Contreras for a 7-6 lead.

Tyler O’Neill followed with a crucial blow, hitting a three-run double off Kevin Ginkel that made it 10-6.

St. Louis snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 7-4 since the All-Star break.

Arizona has dropped five straight, continuing an extended slide. The D-backs are 5-13 in July, which could change the team’s approach to the rapidly approaching trade deadline on Aug. 1.

“We didn’t execute on the mound,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “We didn’t throw strikes in some critical situations and gave up some big hits at big moments.”

Goldschmidt crushed his 17th homer in the first for a 2-0 lead, hitting a fastball from Ryne Nelson off the batter’s eye, far above the 407-foot sign on the center-field wall. The veteran first baseman spent his first eight seasons with the Diamondbacks — making six All-Star teams — before being traded to the Cardinals after the 2018 season.

It was Goldschmidt’s 104th career homer at Chase Field — the most for any player since the park opened in 1998.

Arizona scored a run in both the first and second to even it 2-all. Corbin Carroll had a sacrifice fly, and Alek Thomas hit a two-out single that scored Emmanuel Rivera.

Wainwright returned to the mound after three weeks on the shelf with a right shoulder strain. He got better as his outing progressed, retiring nine hitters in a row at one point. He went five innings — even dropping down for a sidearm delivery at times — and gave up two runs on four hits while throwing 76 pitches.

“He was as efficient as we’ve seen him,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “Got through five, made some tough pitches and navigated that lineup well.”

Wainwright left with a 5-2 lead and was in line for his 199th career win, but the St. Louis bullpen couldn’t hold it.

The D-backs scored twice in the sixth to cut the margin to 5-4 and then pushed ahead 6-5 in the seventh on Evan Longoria’s pinch-hit, two-run double off Giovanny Gallegos (2-4). The 37-year-old third baseman is a three-time All-Star who has turned into a valuable role player this season in the desert.

Nelson gave up five runs on eight hits over six innings.

LONGEVITY

Wainwright made his 402nd start for the Cardinals, passing Bob Forsch (401) for sole possession of second place in franchise history. Only Hall of Famer Bob Gibson (482) had more.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: Lovullo said RHP Drey Jameson has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and is trying to decide whether to rest the injury or have Tommy John surgery. Jameson is 3-1 with a 3.32 ERA in 40 1/3 innings this season while splitting time between the rotation and bullpen.

UP NEXT

The series continues Tuesday night. The D-backs are expected to start RHP Merrill Kelly (9-4, 3.22 ERA), though Arizona still needs to make a roster move to bring him off the injured list. The Cardinals will counter with LHP Steven Matz (1-7, 4.67).