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Adam Wainwright ups season RBI total to 18, most for pitcher since 1973

DENVER -- Adam Wainwright is having a historically good season ... at the plate.

The St. Louis Cardinals right-hander became the second pitcher this season to have four RBIs in a game. He ripped a two-run double to center field and blooped a two-run single to center against Colorado Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa on Tuesday night in the Cardinals' 10-5 win. The four RBIs are a career high.

Wainwright credits inching just a little closer for his newfound prowess at the plate.

"My whole career, I've fought trying to pull the ball and tried to stay up the middle and hit the ball to right field. It just doesn't work for me very well," Wainwright said. "If it's a pitch in the strike zone, I'm going to swing at it."

He has 10 extra-base hits and 18 RBIs this season, numbers that Madison Bumgarner, who is as renowned for his dangerous hitting as his feisty temper, has never matched. In fact, Wainwright has the most RBIs in a season of any pitcher since the designated hitter era began in 1973.

Wainwright has two more starts to catch Bob Gibson, who drove in 19 runs in 1970. He would need to get even hotter to catch Dizzy Dean, who had 21 RBIs to set the modern Cardinals record for a pitcher in 1935. Per ESPN Stats & Information research, Wainwright has the most extra-base hits of any pitcher since Arizona's Micah Owings had 12 in 2007.

Noah Syndergaard drove in all four of the New York Mets' runs in a May 11 game at Dodger Stadium.

Wainwright, 35, entered the season as the Cardinals' No. 1 starter. But he has struggled for long stretches on the mound. He has a 4.57 ERA, the worst of his 11-year career.

He tallied his 12th win on Tuesday night but didn't have sharp command, yielding three solo homers. Overall, he gave up four runs in 5⅓ innings.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.