Richard Verstegan 5 a.m., March 12
Padres get even with Cardinals
San Diego hits enough and holds Cardinals hitting to split the series
Padres starter Edinson Volquez was erratic again, it seems to be an inescapable aspect of his pitching lately. But the Padres bull pen was solid like it used to be in seasons past and the bats were good enough to propel the Friars to a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.
Luckily for San Diego, Cardinals starter Lance Lynn was also erratic, not a common occurrence this season. The Padres got to Lynn early and often, putting up four runs in the first three innings, and staking Volquez to a comfortable lead.
Volquez almost let the game get away from him. After three perfect innings, Volquez gave up a walk, a single, a wild pitch, and then another single, and the Cardinals cut the Padres lead in half.
An inning later, Volquez gave up back-to-back singles and uncorked another wild pitch, and a ground out drove home another run. The Padres clung precariously to a one-run lead as Volquez exited after five innings with a high pitch count, and relief pitching took over.
Nick Vincent, Dale Thayer, and Joe Thatcher each pitched a full inning in relief and effectively shut down a potent Cardinals offense. Lynn also lasted only five innings for St. Louis, but the Cardinals bull pen held off the Padres attempts at adding on, until the top of the ninth inning.
With one out, Chase Headley singled and Carlos Quentin doubled to plate Headley for an insurance run. Huston Street then came in for the bottom of the ninth inning to notch his 16th save by getting the Cardinals in order.
Both Headley and Quentin had a pair of hits, part of nine total by the Padres. The bats seem to be back in order, so if pitching can get in line then perhaps the Friars can do a little bit of damage to the opposition in the next several weeks.
The Padres placed Jason Marquis on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a right elbow strain, retroactive to July 20th. Miles Mikolas rejoined the club after being called back up from AAA Tucson.
Sunday, the Padres and the Cardinals will play the rubber game of the three-game set. Eric Stults (8-7, 3.40) will take the mound for the Padres and face Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright (12-5, 2.45). Game time is 11:15 AM PDST, on radio 1090 AM and televised on Fox Sports San Diego.
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