When the Padres took the field this afternoon, they had a chance to break their current streak of seven consecutive series losses. It looked like they had some positive momentum heading into this morning’s game against St. Louis after they defeated the Cardinals last night 5-3. Unfortunately for San Diego, they lost the series finale today against St. Louis by a score of 3-2.
Just like they did yesterday, the Padres drew first blood in the top of the first inning. Yonder Alonso, who went 3-4 and looked like his old self today, put the Friars ahead 1-0 when he singled home Everth Cabrera who led off the game with a double.
San Diego’s lead did not last very long though, because St. Louis’ hitters finally broke through in a big way in the bottom of the third against Eric Stults. Allen Craig put the Cardinals on the board with a run scoring single which evened the score at 1-1. Then David Freese continued the hit-parade when clubbed a two-run double as St. Louis went ahead 3-1.
Thankfully, Freese was thrown out at third base on the play when he tried to stretch his double into a triple. So it was very likely that he would have come around to score had he stayed at second. Stults however retired the next two hitters to close the inning, but the damage had already been done.
Stults did not do a particularly bad job for the Friars in his six innings of work. The only runs he allowed were the ones scored during the bottom of the third, and he kept other big innings at bay. Although he earned the loss this afternoon, his lineup simply could not get back into the game against the solid pitching of Adam Wainwright.
After his issues in the top of the first, Wainwright only got stronger as the game continued. I will say that the Friars really blew a golden opportunity in the top of the sixth when they put runners on first and third out. Although Will Venable’s double-play ground out cut the Cardinals’ lead to 3-2, it killed any sort of offensive momentum the Friars had in that particular frame. After the top of the sixth though, Wainwright silenced the Friars during the tops of the seventh and eighth innings.
In the top of the ninth though, it looked like San Diego might send the game into extra innings. Unfortunately for them, extending the game was just not meant to be. Jesus Guzman hit a ground-rule double with Alexi Amarista on first base with two outs in the inning.
While the double should have been a good thing, the fact that the ball went into the seats instead of rattling around in play killed the Padres. Had the ball not been ruled dead, Amarista would have easily come around to score. Sadly, Guzman had to stay on second base and Amarista was forced to stay at third.
Jedd Gyorko then almost put the Friars ahead after Guzman’s double with a three-run home run. Gyorko’s long fly ball fell into the glove of Craig out in left field though, and San Diego’s comeback effort fell short.
San Diego will head to Milwaukee for a four game set tomorrow, and I certainly hope that they can at least split the series with the Brewers. I certainly hope that the struggling Andrew Cashner can rebound tomorrow evening, but I will say that it was promising to have watched the Padres give the Cardinals all they could handle during the last two games.
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