St. Louis Cardinals Top Padres, 4-2


San Diego Padres starter Tyson Ross came to Busch Stadium Friday night bearing gifts. They came in the form of bases on balls–three of them–to start the bottom of the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals. With Matt Carpenter on third, Kolten Wong on second, and Matt Holliday on first base, cleanup hitter Matt Adams lashed a line drive to center, knocking in Carpenter. Jhonny Peralta followed by hitting a ground ball to third, where Jace Peterson slightly bobbled it, having to settle for a fielder’s choice out at second base. Wong scored on the play, and the Cardinals never trailed from that point, taking the second game of a four-game set, 4-2.

Lance Lynn struck out six in his six innings of work, surrendering six hits as well. He threw 102 pitches, notching his 13th victory in the process. He also lowered his earned run average to 2.91. Loser Tyson Ross pitched six innings, striking out two and walking four batters. Oddly, he hit Jon Jay twice with pitches during the game.

Jay scored the Cardinals’ third run after being hit the first time. The Cardinals manufactured the run by putting on a hit-and-run with Shane Robinson at the plate. Robinson bounced to second base, and Jay evaded an attempted tag by Jedd Gyorko, who threw to first for an out. Lynn grounded out to second. After a walk to Carpenter, Wong singled to left field, making it 3-0.

The San Diego Padres broke through for a run in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, Jace Peterson lined a ball that Peralta had to jump for, and he couldn’t secure it. The ball trickled out toward Jay, who got it back into the infield. The pitcher, Ross, at first was trying to sacrifice. On a 2-1 count he pulled the bat back and slapped a single past the diving effort of Carpenter. Will Venable immediately followed with a shot that one-hopped the fence in right-center, scoring Peterson. Lynn squelched the threat by striking out Tommy Medica, and inducing Seth Smith to pop out to second baseman Wong.

Both teams brought on their relievers in the seventh inning. Sam Freeman worked a 1-2-3 seventh. He got the first man out in the eighth, but promptly walked Smith on four pitches. Seth Maness entered, and with rain pouring down he dispatched Gyorko on three pitches. Rymer Liriano then popped out to Robinson playing right field.

A.J. Pierzynski and Jon Jay led off the bottom of the frame with hits. Robinson was asked to bunt. He failed to do so, and Pierzynski was caught stealing at third base. A wild pitch by Blaine Boyer moved Jay to second base. Manager Mike Matheny called on Oscar Taveras to pinch hit, and he delivered by slamming a single into center, scoring Jay.

Yasmani Grandal hit a pinch-hit home run in the ninth, a blast into the batter’s eye in center. Chris Nelson followed by hitting a ball off the fence in left for a double. Pat Neshek struck out Will Venable on a changeup to end the game.