Photo is credited to Getty Images.
The Cardinals and Padres met for three-game series this weekend at Petco Park in San Diego, California.
Game One: Padres 4, Cardinals 1 — WP: Andrew Cashner (1-1) LP: Adam Wainwright (0-3) SV: Fernando Rodney (3)
The Cardinals were hoping for a return to form for Adam Wainwright in his start against the Padres on Friday night. And while he did show improvement, the Cardinals’ inability to score a sufficient number of runs off of Andrew Cashner and the Padres’ bullpen led them to their third loss in their last four games.
The Padres got on the board in the bottom of the first inning with a home run from Wil Myers, his fourth of the season. Myers drove in another run in the third on a sacrifice fly, giving San Diego an early 2-0 lead.
Center fielder Randal Grichuk answered in the Cardinals’ half of the fourth inning by hitting his third home run of the year, just the second hit Cashner had allowed to that point in his outing. Cashner struck out four in his six innings of work, allowing one run to the Cardinals on three hits and a walk.
Cashner’s counterpart was not as sharp, however. Wainwright allowed a run in the fourth after surrendering consecutive hits to Jemile Weeks and Adam Rosales. Wainwright’s night ended after six innings, too, but his line wasn’t as sharp: seven hits, one walk, and three runs.
San Diego’s 3-1 lead turned to a 4-1 lead in the seventh against reliever Seth Maness on an RBI double from Myers, scoring Jon Jay, who reached on a fielder’s choice. Maness finished the seventh inning in addition to pitching a clean eighth.
The Padres’ bullpen shut the Cardinals down, as Ryan Buchter, Brandon Maurer, and Fernando Rodney allowed three hits through the final three innings of the ballgame and struck out four, defending San Diego’s three-run advantage for a win, their fourth victory in their last seven games.
Game Two: Cardinals 11, Padres 2 — WP: Michael Wacha (2-0) LP: Kevin Quackenbush (0-1)
A night after being held to one run on six hits, the Cardinals turned the table on the Padres by limiting them to two runs on five hits while scoring eleven times on sixteen.
For the second game in a row, the Padres took to the scoreboard first, and, per usual, Wil Myers was in the middle of it. Myers laced a single to right field and took third on a double off the bat of Matt Kemp. Melvin Upton Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to plate Myers and give San Diego a 1-0 lead.
Starting for the home team on Saturday was Cesar Vargas, a 24-year-old right hander the Padres called up from Double-A to start in place of lefty Robbie Erlin, who landed on the disabled list with an elbow strain. The only hiccup of Vargas’s first major-league outing came in the sixth inning. Vargas surrendered a home run to Stephen Piscotty to lead off the frame. Then, he walked Matt Holliday, Vargas’s third free pass of the evening. The walk ended Vargas’s outing, which was pretty solid overall. The rookie went over five innings, allowing just one run on three hits and walks.
The Padres got their one-run lead back in the sixth. After Kemp’s second two-bagger of the game, Cardinals starter Michael Wacha walked Upton Jr. and Derek Norris. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly, the second one of the day for the Padres, accounting for their second run off Wacha.
Kevin Quackenbush, who pitched the sixth inning, took the mound to begin the seventh. Quackenbush walked Yadier Molina, retired Jedd Gyorko, and allowed a base hit to Aledmys Diaz. With the pitcher Wacha due up, Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny went to his bench for Matt Carpenter, who was getting a break from the day’s starting lineup. Once Carpenter was announced as the pinch-hitter, Padres manager Andy Green went to his bullpen, calling upon reliever Brad Hand to clean up the jam. Carpenter smacked a single up the middle, scoring Molina and tying the game at two. Carlos Villanueva entered the game in place of Hand to face pinch-hitter Jeremy Hazelbaker, who was assigned to bat for Ruben Tejada. Hazelbaker, who had zero hits in his previous seventeen at-bats, promptly swatted a three-run homer to right-center field, giving the Cardinals their first lead of the night.
Villanueva came back out to pitch the eighth and allowed base hits to two of the first three batters he faced. Gyorko came up next, and he, too, hit a three-run homer, the Cardinals’ second three-run shot in as many innings, giving St. Louis a commanding, 8-2 advantage.
The Cardinals padded their lead up to 11-2 in the ninth inning with RBIs from Randal Grichuk and Diaz, ensuring a victory to even the series.
-Aledmys Diaz is the first Cardinals rookie since Wally Moon in 1954 to go 5-for-5.
Game Three: Cardinals 8, Padres 5 — WP: Kevin Siegrist (3-0) LP: Brandon Maurer (0-1) SV: Trevor Rosenthal (5)
The Padres and Cardinals put on a show in the rubber game of their three-game setting, carrying a tied score for much of the game.
It was the Cardinals who got on the board first in this one, using a pair of singles and walk off Padres starter Colin Rea to score twice. The Padres got to Mike Leake in the second with a couple of singles from Alexei Ramirez and Jemile Weeks and a sacrifice fly from Christian Bethancourt, cutting St. Louis’s lead down to 2-1.
The Padres even the score at two in the third with a single from Wil Myers, double from Matt Kemp, his third of the series, and an RBI groundout from Melvin Upton Jr. The Cardinals responded in the fourth, beginning with a leadoff triple from Jedd Gyorko. Leake singled up the middle for his first hit and RBI as a Cardinal, giving himself a 3-2 lead to work with.
Bethancourt homered in the Padres’ half of the fourth inning, knotting the score again, this time at three. The Padres broke the tie in the fifth, capitalizing on a throwing error by Jedd Gyorko that allowed Jon Jay to reach first base. Myers walked next, putting two on for Kemp. Kemp grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. Upton Jr. came up next, and he hit a ball that deflected off of shortstop Aledmys Diaz, allowing Jay to score the go-ahead run.
Kevin Quackenbush — who was charged with the loss in the middle game of the series — entered the game to pitch the sixth. Five pitches into his outing, Quackenbush had coughed up the lead, allowing back-to-back homers to Gyorko and Diaz, which tied the game at five.
The score remained knotted at five until the eighth inning. Brandon Maurer entered the game. He recorded the first out quickly before he allowed base hit to pinch-hitter Matt Adams. The lineup turned over to Matt Carpenter, who tripled to right field to break the tie. Stephen Piscotty flew out, and the battery of Bethancourt and Maurer opted to intentionally walk Brandon Moss with two outs. Randal Grichuk came up next. Grichuk rifled a double to center, scoring Carpenter and Moss — the intentional walk cam-e back to bite the Padres.
With an 8-5 lead, the Cardinals gave the ball to closer Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth inning, his first appearance since Wednesday, April 20. The Padres brought the tying run to the plate with one out but could not make any hay as Rosenthal shut the door to save a Cardinal win.
–Padres outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. was ejected by home plate umpire Sean Barber for arguing balls and strikes in the seventh inning.
–Cardinals shortstop Jedd Gyorko finished the game a double shy of the cycle.
Padres: The Padres will travel to San Francisco to take on the Giants, who took two of three from the Miami Marlins this weekend.
Cardinals: The Cardinals will continue their trip out west with a four-game date at Chase Field with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who took on the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend.