NEW YORK -- The Cardinals, still largely struggling at the plate, loaded up with eight right-handed hitters on Wednesday night against the Mets, including Mark Ellis batting second -- and playing second -- in place of Kolten Wong.
"You have to look at the at-bats [Ellis] has been taking," said manager Mike Matheny, even though Ellis is only 2-for-12 since coming off the disabled list on April 15. "The way he has gone about it is very good."
This was Ellis' first appearance in the two-hole, where Matheny had placed the struggling Wong (.222) for all but three of his starts. Allen Craig has hit second four times but went into the cleanup spot on Wednesday after Matt Adams tweaked his leg on the same play in which Adam Wainwright was injured to end the seventh inning on Tuesday night.
"[Adams] was ready to go, wanted to play, and absolutely [will be available] late in the game," said Matheny. "But this is a good opportunity to [use others], especially with how many games we have in a row."
The only left-handed hitter in the lineup was Matt Carpenter, in his usual leadoff spot. Carpenter singled off Mets starter Jon Niese in his first at-bat and later scored on Yadier Molina's double.
Waino optimistic about making next start
NEW YORK -- Manager Mike Matheny wasn't quite as optimistic as Adam Wainwright that the right-hander will be able to make his next scheduled start, on Sunday against the Pirates, but both are equally relieved that the injury Wainwright sustained to his right knee in lunging for Chris Young's bloop on Tuesday night is not nearly as bad as it first looked.
"I will be throwing a side [session] tomorrow," said Wainwright on Wednesday. "Everything is good. To be honest with you, I am better than I thought I would be. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was just a hair sore with full extension of my leg. But I can fully extend it and straighten my leg out with no problems.
"Last night I didn't really want to do that, was guarding against it. I probably already feel 50 percent better than I did last night."
Young's out, recorded by first baseman Matt Adams while Wainwright hobbled past the bag, ended both the seventh inning and Wainwright's night. Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal finished the Cardinals' 2-0 win.
Matheny said it is "too early" to be certain that Wainwright will be good to go in four days, but he wasn't going to rule it out after watching his pitcher work out on Wednesday.
"He was actually doing some leg workouts -- modified and lightweight -- but all his movements looked right," said Matheny. "He said he is feeling really good about where he is going to be.
"Right now we are really grateful, because that looked like it was going to be pretty bad. When I see [the knee] giving out on him like that, for him not to be hurt worse, you have to realize he has been doing a lot of [things right] as far as preparation and stability.
"The things he is doing in the weight room really come to light in a situation like that."
• Molina extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI double in the first inning of Wednesday's 3-2 loss. The streak includes eight multihit games -- including Wednesday's 3-for-3 performance -- and he has 10 such games for the young season.
• Lance Lynn, who is 12-0 all-time in March and April, goes into Thursday's start against the Mets holding the all-time top winning percentage for the opening month (and odd day or two preceding it) in Major League history. Should Lynn lose on Thursday, he will fall behind some guy named George Herman Ruth, who went 13-1 in April.
Jay Greenberg is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.