Following an off day on Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals, coming off a successful homestand, headed to the west coast to begin a three game series against the San Diego Padres. While St. Louis entered the game still on top of Major League Baseball, San Diego entered the game 59-62 and in fourth place in the National League West.
And after the first game of the series, the Padres won their 60th game of the year, by the score of 9-3.
The starting pitchers for the evening were John Lackey (10-7, 2.87 ERA) and Andrew Cashner (4-12, 4.20).
St. Louis scored the first run of the game right away. With Stephen Piscotty on third base (who reached on a fielding error), and Jason Heyward on first, catcher Yadier Molina singled to score Piscotty and give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
But it wasn’t until the seventh inning when the Cardinals would score another run.
For the first four innings of Friday night’s game, Lackey was on point, throwing under 50 pitches and allowing zero runs. However, in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Padres got on the board for the first time. And it turned out to be a big inning for them.
It began with a single by Alexi Amarista. After a hit by Andrew Cashner, along with two subsequent throwing errors, Amarista scored to make it a 1-1 game. Travis Janowski followed with a single to score Cashner, and giving San Diego the lead. Yangervis Solarte hit a two-run home run next to make it a 4-1 lead. Yonder Alonso stepped up to the plate next, and was issued a walk by Lackey. Later, Justin Upton singled to center field, scoring Alonso, as they had a 5-1 lead. While Lackey was able to get the next two batters out, the damage had already been done.
The final line of the game for the veteran Lackey was: 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 7 Ks.
In the seventh inning, Tommy Pham hit a triple while Mark Reynolds was already on base, scoring him to cut the deficit to 5-2. Later, on a sacrifice fly by Piscotty, Pham scored as the Cardinals made it a 5-3 game. And while there were plenty of chances for St. Louis to keep the momentum going, that turned out to be the last run they would score for the evening.
But in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Padres put the nail in the coffin, as Brett Wallace and Matt Kemp both hit two-run home runs, to turn what was a two run deficit into a six run deficit, as San Diego led the Cardinals 9-3.
Kevin Quackenbush entered to pitch the ninth inning, and proceeded to shut down the Cardinals, as they lost the first game of the road trip. Lackey’s record drops to 10-8, while Cashner improves to 5-12. The gap between the Cardinals and Pirates remains at five games due to Pittsburgh also losing on Friday night.
Tomorrow night, Carlos Martinez will get the start for St. Louis
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)