(BaseballStL) — The next two innings went quietly, with neither offense plating another runner. The Cardinal relief train of Randy Choate and Pat Neshek got through the eighth and handed the ball to Trevor Rosenthal.
He began behind to Will Venable, working to 3-1 before a leadoff walk. For Alexi Amarista, it was three straight balls and the crowd grew restless.
After a visit from Mike Matheny, Rosenthal calmed down to strike out pinch hitter Rymer Liriano on four pitches.
The relief was short lived, as the closer then walked the bases full. Matheny had seen enough, pulling Rosenthal and asking Seth Maness to clean up the mess.
The first pitch was a two-run single up the middle, but Matt Adams and Kolten Wong combined to corral a shot from Seth Smith for the second out.
With the tying run 90 feet away, Maness got Grandal to fly out to left for the save.
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The bottom of the lineup did their job again in the sixth, as Bourjos and Cruz each reached for the second time.
With one out and two on, Wainwright sac bunted in his final at bat, moving both men into scoring position.
The move was rewarded when Matt Carpenter gapped a two-run double, giving the Birds a 7-4 cushion heading into the final three innings.
Kolten Wong almost stretched the lead when he gave a ball a ride to the right field wall, but it fell just short into Will Venable’s mitt.
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Disaster struck in the sixth, when San Diego scraped together two more runs with two outs.
Jedd Gyorko punched a single into center on the first pitch he saw with two away, setting up Jake Goebbert for a shot to cut the lead.
The rookie ripped a 1-0 cutter into the right field corner, scoring Gyorko easily. On the relay from Taveras, Wong turned and uncorked a high throw trying to catch Goebbert at third.
It sailed over Carpenter’s head into the seats, giving the Padres a free run and cutting the lead down to one.
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The Friars finally figured out their bats in the fifth, racking up three straight one-out singles to score their first run.
Despagne was pinch hit for by Tommy Medica, finishing only four innings on the day.
Medica’s at bat consisted of more pitches than the Padres entire first inning, and concluded with a fly ball to center.
Both runners moved up and with men on second and third, Yangervis Solarte shot a ball back at the mound.
It caromed off Wainwright’s foot for a base hit, making the Cardinal lead 5-2.
The inning finally closed with an Abraham Almonte come backer, this time to Wainwright’s glove. After three perfect innings, the Cardinal ace walked off the mound in the fifth have thrown more than 80 pitches.
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Adam Wainwright was perfect through 3.2 innings, but lost his no hitter in the fourth.
With two strikes on Seth Smith the righty nibbled at the outside corner two times in a row, but couldn’t finish him off.
On 3-2, the San Diego left fielder slapped a line drive just over the glove of a leaping Wong into right field for a hit.
Wainwright would strike out Yasmani Grandal with a curve on the outside corner, seemingly in the same spot as balls two and three to Smith.
He walked off having struck out five, allowing one hit and no runs in four full innings.
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The run production continued in the second, with Carpenter leading off his for the second time in the game.
The third baseman turned on a pitch and sent it 399 feet to right center, clearing the wall by a foot.
It was his seventh homer of the season and gave the Cards a 5-0 lead.
The next three Birds went down in order, with two fly balls to center closing out the inning.
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The Cardinals struck early again Sunday, picking up four runs in the first inning.
Matt Carpenter followed a nine-pitch inning by Wainwright with a single up the middle, then was joined on base when Kolten Wong walked.
Jhonny Peralta flew out to short right, but Matt Adams kept the train rolling with a single to center to load the bases.
Jon Jay took care of the RBIs with a two-run single into right field, scoring Carpenter and Wong.
With men on first and second and Odrisamer Despagne at 21 pitches, the Padres had a brief mound conference hoping to quiet the storm.
It briefly paid dividends, as Oscar Taveras flew out to center field, but Peter Bourjos kept the runs coming with a single up the middle to score Adams.
Tony Cruz joined the fun, punching a ball through the hole on the right side to score Jay and put the Cardinals up 4-0.
Adam Wainwright came to the plate with men on the corners, but flew out to center to end the inning.
All told, the Cardinals sent nine to the plate, picking up four runs on five hits.