<
>

Cardinals' offense a no-show against Diamondbacks

PHOENIX -- The major leagues' most prolific offense had a far-from-prolific night.

Rubby De La Rosa completely shut down the St. Louis Cardinals in a 3-0 Arizona Diamondbacks win Thursday night at Chase Field. The Cardinals led the majors in runs (137) and OPS (.866) going into Thursday but managed just two hits over seven innings against the hard-throwing right-hander, who had a wicked slider and struck out 10 Cardinals.

Even the Cardinals' latest phenom had a rough night. Shortstop Aledmys Diaz, the majors' leading hitter, went 0-for-3 to see his batting average reduced to .446.

The Cardinals had a chance to hurt De La Rosa early when they got two runners on in the second inning, but after he got into a rhythm they couldn't shake him out of it. The pivotal at-bat that inning was Jedd Gyorko's strikeout looking. Gyorko was upset about umpire Tony Randazzo's call, but a replay showed the pitch in the vicinity of the outside corner.

Michael Wacha (2-1) looked dominant most of the night but couldn't match De La Rosa's shutout innings. Wacha's outing was similar to Adam Wainwright's the night before. Arizona did its damage with just a few swings. Chris Hermann hit a two-run home run in the second inning with a lunging, awkward swing at a low changeup. It somehow carried into the right-field stands. Brandon Drury lined a home run to left in the fourth.

Wacha struck out nine batters, including all three looking in the first inning. It was Wacha's highest strikeout total in a start since June 9 of last season.

The Cardinals have beefed up their offensive numbers against young and struggling pitching staffs, but they'll face a different kind of challenge this weekend after they get to St. Louis sometime early Friday morning. The Washington Nationals are coming to town, with Stephen Strasburg set to pitch Friday.