SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Adam Wainwright is one step closer to beginning his sendoff season after completing a rehab start Wednesday in Springfield.

Wainwright stretched out to three innings and 59 pitches in his first rehab outing since an abrupt groin injury. He limited damage to just a two-run home runs and four hits. The 41-year-old also struck out three without issuing a walk, topping out if the mid-80s for pitch speed.

Wainwright had the chance to interact with fans and even sign some autographs prior to the start. A few thousand gathered to watch him at Hammons Field, where he last pitched on a rehab assignment in 2018.

As tradition for some baseball veterans, Wainwright will treat Springfield prospects to a team dinner Wednesday. Chris Pinson, a sports reporter from Nexstar affiliate KOLR, shared several photos from the outing. He was also told Wainwright plans to order streak and lobster for the team.

This season will also mark Wainwright’s final as an MLB pitcher, which he reiterated several times throughout spring training. Wainwright, a 2006 World Series champion, is third in St. Louis Cardinals’ history with 195 wins, fourth in games started (386) and second in strikeouts (2,147) with a 3.38 career ERA.