Michael Wacha was lights-out Sunday, helping the St. Louis Cardinals halt a brief two-game skid with an 10-3 win over the San Diego Padres on the road.
The Cardinals right-hander scattered five hits and allowed just one run, striking out three batters to tie Cubs ace Jake Arrieta for the big league lead with 15 wins on a day when the St. Louis bats were ready to roll.
Before Wacha even touched the mound at Petco Park, the Cardinals had already staked him to a 4-0 advantage – a nice start for any pitcher, let alone one of his quality.
The fist tally came via a Yangervis Solarte error on a grounder off the bat of St. Louis shortstop Jhonny Peralta, making it 1-0 Redbirds. A Yadier Molina single and Stephen Piscotty triple accounted for the other three runs in the frame, giving Padres starter Colin Rea a rude welcome to the game.
The San Diego right-hander lasted just four innings, surrendering five runs – four earned – on five hits. His earned run average increased to 5.52 on the season, as he struck out four and walked a pair.
The first Friars run came in the second when Clint Barmes singled to right, scoring Yonder Alonso. That base knock was the only damage the Padres could do against Wacha, who was effective yet-again for the Cardinals.
In the bottom of the ninth, Matt Kemp extended his hitting streak with a bases-loaded, two-run single against Kevin Siegrist, pulling San Diego within 10-3. Kemp saved his hitting streak, which now stands at 15 games, with the knock.
Following Barmes’ knock, the St. Louis bats just poured it on. Jason Heyward plated a run in both the fourth on a sacrifice fly and in the seventh on a triple, Molina added another RBI on a sac fly and Piscotty slugged his third homer of the year to cap a three-run seventh.
Just when you thought it was done and over, though, the Cardinals rookie went deep yet-again, blasting a two-run shot in the ninth against San Diego closer Craig Kimbrel, erasing what minute hopes were left for the home team on a forgettable afternoon.
St. Louis (78-45) will head to Phoenix to battle the surging Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night, with first pitch slated for 9:05 p.m. CT.