The always tough John Lackey (10-8) ran into some tough luck on Friday night in San Diego where the Padres beat the team with the best record in Major League Baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, by a score of nine to three.
With the loss, the Cardinals maintained their four and one-half game lead over the second place Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central Division. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Pirates, on Friday, by a score of six to four. The Padres have taken three games of five from the Redbirds this season.
The Cardinals’ enjoyed a one to nothing lead, thanks to a Yadier Molina RBI single which scored Stephen Piscotty in the first. Lackey was masterful through the first four innings of work, holding the Padres scoreless.
Then what can be best described as a comedy of errors took control of the game in the home half of the fifth inning. The Padres’ Alexi Amarista opened the fifth with a single to left. Padres’ starter Andrew Cashner (5-12) bunted to first. The Cardinals’ Mark Reynolds fielded the ball in front of the first base bag, rather than stepping on the bag for a force-out, threw to second for a potential force-out. The throw was off-line and sailed past Cardinals’ shortstop Jhonny Peralta into left-center field. To complicate issues, left-fielder Piscotty got the ball and fired to third. The ball sailed over the head of Cardinal third-baseman Matt Carpenter, into the third-base dugout and out of play. Amarista was waved home and Cashman, who should have been out at first, wound up at third. Padres’ rookie Travis Jankowski who on Friday was making his MLB debut and who got a hit in his first at bat, got his second hit of the game in his second at bat, a single, as Cashner scored with the go ahead run. Yangervis Solarte hit his tenth home run of the season on a Lackey pitch. The Padres’ fifth run involved Lackey’s only walk of the game, a Lackey wild pitch, and a single by Justin Upton which scored Yonder Alonso. Cardinals’ second-baseman Kolten Wong committed the Redbirds third error of the inning, mishandling catcher Yadier Molina’s attempt to catch Upton stealing. By the end of the fifth the score had become Cards one-Padres five.
The three errors in the inning proved to be costly to the Cardinals, however, they weren’t out of the game. In the top of the seventh, Tommy Pham hit the first triple of his MLB career, scoring Mark Reynolds. Pham scored on a Piscotty sacrifice fly. The score Cards three-Padres five.
In the home half of the eighth, Brett Wallace hit his third home run of the season also scoring Amarista. Matt Kemp hit his fifteenth homer of the year also scoring Solarte. Final score, Cardinals three-Padres nine.
The Cards’ starter John Lackey worked six innings, allowed nine hits, five runs-four of which were earned, walked one, and struck out seven.
Padres’ starter Andrew Cashner worked six innings, allowed four hits, one unearned run, walked two, and struck out eight.
Apparently, the fifth inning and later the eighth inning got in the way of the Cardinals ability to be successful against the Padres on Friday.
Saturday the Cardinals hope to rebound from their uncharacteristic error laden loss when Carlos Martinez (12-5) meets the Padres’ Ian Kennedy (7-11) at Petco Park.
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