Series Summary 7/18-21: Padres vs. Cardinals

Yadier Molina and Stephen Piscotty (2)

Photo is credited to the Associated Press.

After dropping two of their first three games out of the All-Star break, the Cardinals turned around to win all four in their series with the Padres at Busch Stadium this week.

Game One: Cardinals 10, Padres 2 — WP: Mike Leake (7-7) LP: Christian Friedrich (4-6)

On the strength of three home runs and a six-inning outing from Mike Leake, the Cardinals cruised to a 10-2 victory in their series opener with the Padres.

With the 2-1 score in their favor, the Cardinals knocked Padres starter Christian Friedrich out of the game in the sixth inning. Reliever Carlos Villanueva entered the ballgame with two on and surrendered a pinch-hit, two-run double to Matt Adams. Villanueva was able to record the second out of the inning before Aledmys Diaz lined a triple to left field and scored the Cardinals’ sixth run of the game on a base hit from Stephen Piscotty.

Though he had thrown just 88 pitches, the muggy conditions led the Cardinals to pull Leake after the sixth inning. Leake allowed one run — a homer off the bat of Matt Kemp — in his six frames, whiffing eleven batters.

The Cardinals tacked on three runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to up their lead to 10-2. Trevor Rosenthal was called upon to pitch the ninth and turned in a perfect frame, punching out two of the three batters he faced.

Notes:

-With a double-digit strikeout total and no walks for the second straight start, Mike Leake joins Hall of Famer Bob Gibson as the second Cardinals pitcher to ever record consecutive starts of ten or more punchouts with no walks.

On Tuesday, the Cardinals placed infielder Jhonny Peralta on the 15-day disabled list with a left thumb ligament strain; the club’s corresponding move was recalling outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker from the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. In addition to that pair of moves, the Cardinals designated catcher Michael McHenry for assignment and promoted relief pitcher Miguel Socolovich for the first time this season.

The second game of the series was scheduled to be played on Tuesday night, but inclement weather in St. Louis forced a postponement. Since this is the last meeting of the season for the two clubs, the second game was moved to Wednesday, setting up a day-night doubleheader; the Padres and Cardinals used their orginially scheduled starters for Tuesday’s game in the first game of the doubleheader.

Game Two: Cardinals 4, Padres 2 — WP: Carlos Martinez (9-6) LP: Colin Rea (5-4) SV: Seung Hwan Oh (3)

With seven dominant innings from Carlos Martinez and three timely home runs, St. Louis took the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader from the Padres by a 4-2 score.

The Padres recorded four hits off of Martinez on Wednesday afternoon, and three of them came in the first inning, when second baseman Ryan Schimpf made the most of San Diego’s scoring opportunity by hitting a two-run homer, his seventh of the season.

Play was interrupted for over ten minutes with two outs in the top of the second, as members of the Cardinals coaching and medical staff tended to Martinez, who suffered from a nosebleed. The bleed — one that was likely the result of the steamy weather conditions in St. Louis — was able to be stopped, allowing Martinez to remain in the game.

After the Schimpf put San Diego up by two runs in the first, the Cardinals did all of the scoring from there.

Facing Collin Rea in the bottom of the second, Matt Holliday belted his seventeenth homer of the season, a solo shot that cut the Padres’ lead in half. In the fourth, Jedd Gyorko continued his hot hitting against the Padres with a two-run blast to deep center, putting the Cardinals ahead, 3-2.

Yadier Molina added an insurance tally with his third home run of the season in the sixth. After Martinez completed the seventh inning, Kevin Siegrist and Seung Hwan Oh followed him. The pair did not surrender a baserunner in their two innings of work and combined to whiff three of six batters.

Game Three: Cardinals 3, Padres 2 — WP: Jaime Garcia (7-6) LP: Paul Clemens (1-1) SV: Seung Hwan Oh (4)

On the strength of two home runs from third baseman Jedd Gyorko and a dominant evening from the pitching staff, the Cardinals took the night cap of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Busch Stadium, 3-2.

Paul Clemens was given the nod for the Padres in the second game and turned in five innings, in which he allowed three runs while punching out five. The runs all came off the bat of Gyorko, who homered twice in this contest and a total of three times on Wednesday.

On the other side, Jaime Garcia started for St. Louis. After allowing a leadoff homer to Matt Kemp in the top of the sixth, Garcia was nearing the end of his leash from manager Mike Matheny. Garcia recorded two outs, but he was pulled from the game with two on in favor of Seth Maness, who quickly ended San Diego’s scoring opportunity.

Following Maness, the Cardinals received three one-hit innings from their bullpen, as Tyler Lyons, Jonathan Broxton, Kevin Siegrist, and Seung Hwan Oh collectively held the Padres to one baserunner over the final three innings of St. Louis’s 3-2 victory.

Notes:

-Seung Hwan Oh is the first Cardinals pitcher to record to saves in both game of a doubleheader since 2004, when Jason Isringhausen did so.

-The Cardinals and Padres combined to score a total of eleven runs in Wednesday’s doubleheader, and they all came on home runs.

Game Four: Cardinals 6, Padres 5 — WP: Jonathan Broxton (2-2) LP: Carlos Villanueva (1-1)

With over four perfect innings from starter Andrew Cashner under their belt, the Padres carried a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning. The Cardinals tied the game in the eighth at five, however, and won the game in the home half of the ninth, 6-5.

Cashner, through rumors of being traded and all, did not allow a baserunner until Yadier Molina recorded a base hit with one out in the fifth. In the sixth, after Aledmys Diaz plated a run to cut the Padres’ lead to 2-1, Cashner hit Matt Holliday in the face with a 92 MPH fastball. Cashner was removed from the game, as San Diego went to the bullpen.

With a pitch count of 96 and the temperature just as high, Adam Wainwright’s outing ended after six innings. Wainwright whiffed eight, but he was on the hook as he departed the game.

Facing Matt Bowman in the seventh, the Padres scored two runs (one earned) and scored one more against Miguel Socolovich in the eighth, padding San Diego’s lead to 5-1.

With a run already in in the bottom of the eighth, Stephen Piscotty tied the game with a three-run homer, his fourteenth long ball of the season. Jonathan Broxton pitched a clean ninth inning, giving the Cardinals a chance to win the ballgame, and they did. Diaz stepped in the box with the bases full and lined a hit to left field, allowing the game-winning run to cross home.

Notes:

-By winning all four games, the Cardinals enjoyed their first four-game sweep at home since 2010.

What’s next?

Padres: The Padres will commute to Washington D.C. — the second destination of their current three-city trip — to play three games over the weekend with the Nationals.

Cardinals: This weekend, the Cardinals will play host to the Dodgers for a three-game series.

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