ST. LOUIS — Adam Wainwright had a nice view from his seat in the dugout. The kids had it under control.
Allen Craig and Matt Adams each had two RBIs and the St. Louis Cardinals got effective work from rookie pitchers subbing for their ace in a 6-2 victory over the New York Mets on June 16.
Nick Greenwood won his major league debut, with his fiancee, mother, agent and a close friend watching. “You couldn’t ask for a better outing,” Greenwood said. “It’s awesome. Words can’t describe.”
Carlos Martinez allowed an unearned run in four innings in his second career start and Greenwood (1-0) allowed a run and two hits in 3 1-3 innings for St. Louis, which has won seven of eight.
“I don’t know that you could ask any more,” Manager Mike Matheny said. “Today could have been a really tough day on our bullpen.”
Wainwright is skipping a turn to allow for tendinitis in the back of his elbow to subside. He is expected to return Saturday against the Phillies.
Matt Holliday had two hits, including a single for his 1,000th career RBI in a four-run fifth that put the Cardinals up 6-1. He tipped his helmet to the crowd, and then scored standing up on Craig’s double.
“He’s pretty stoic most of the time,” Matheny said. “But I mentioned something to him and he had a big smile.”
Mets Manager Terry Collins batted the pitcher eighth for the first time in franchise history but the novel lineup with rookie Jacob deGrom in the eighth slot ahead of Eric Young Jr. mustered just five hits. New York has lost 10 of 13, scoring two or fewer runs six times.
“We scored a run, it was fine, it worked out all right,” Collins said. But he wouldn’t say whether he’d try the ploy again June 17, saying “I have no idea.”
Adams homered in his first three games coming off the 15-day disabled list from a strained left calf. One of his RBIs came on his third triple, tied for the team lead, and he stung the ball all four at-bats. “He runs well, he runs deceptively well,” Matheny said. “I’d much rather watch him trot.”
DeGrom (0-4) gave up six runs and 12 hits in 4 1-3 innings in his seventh career start, all three numbers statistical low points. “I just look at how many balls were really hit hard,” he said. “Three or four were hit hard, the rest just kind of found holes and went through.”
The 25-year-old deGrom has allowed 13 runs and 26 hits in 15 innings over his last three starts.
He handled the bat fine, with a sacrifice in the third and a broken-bat liner to second with the base loaded in the fourth after Ruben Tejada was intentionally walked.
Young, activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, had an infield hit to help manufacture a run in the third. But Martinez struck him out to end the fourth.
“I haven’t seen one of those sliders like that in a couple weeks,” Young said. “It’s just a timing thing. But he made his pitch when he needed to and you tip your cap.”
The 22-year-old Martinez is one of the Cardinals’ top rotation prospects with a fastball that registered triple digits in the first inning. He’s been a setup man most of the year with a previous long outing of 2 2-3 innings and needed just 14 pitches to retire the Mets in order the first two innings.
The Cardinals selected the 26-year-old Greenwood’s contract from Triple-A Memphis on June 15 to provide support behind Martinez. Greenwood grew up a Yankees fan and walked the first batter he faced, former Yankee Curtis Granderson.
“You can’t really prepare yourself for something like that,” Greenwood said. “After that the emotions, you’ve got to put them away and go after them.”
Seth Maness retired the last four hitters in order for his first save in his first chance of the season.
(R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer)