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Cardinals @ Padres recap 8.23 - Cards turn tables to avoid sweep

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After the first two games of the series came up all Padres, the Cards avoided the sweep with style.

Piscotty and Heyward contribute 5 XBH to the Cards' effort
Piscotty and Heyward contribute 5 XBH to the Cards' effort
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals @ San Diego Padres

Michael Wacha (14-4, 2.85 ERA, 3.19 FIP, 1.115 WHIP) vs. Colin Rea (2-0, 4.22 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 1.313 WHIP)
3:10 p.m. CT 
Petco Park - San Diego, California

Today's Lineups -

Around baseball -

Things we were looking for -

This has been an awful series for the Birds thus far, giving up big innings with some bad defense and some bad pitching, and the offense hasn't done anything to match the opposition's quick strikes.  Hopefully the Cardinals can turn things around today.  Greg Garcia has been called up and will play second as Kolten Wong gets another shot at a day off.  Peter Bourjos still doesn't exist.

Things that happened -

Top halves -

Colin Rea had some trouble with Tommy Pham in the first.  First, he walked him to put him on base.  With Jhonny Peralta up, Rea threw it wide of the first baseman on the pickoff throw, and he wound up on third.  Peralta then rocketed a liner to Solarte, and it bounced off his glove and allowed Pham to score and allowed Peralta first base on what should have/could have been an inning ending double play.  Jason Heyward singled to center.  Yadier Molina kept the train a'runnin', singling to score Peralta.  Stephen Piscotty jumped in, too, tripling to the wall to score two more.  Cards lead 4-0.

Rea had an easier time in the second.  He struck out Wacha and Matt Carpenter (who got rung up on a check swing by his buddy from last night), and got Pham to ground out.

In the third, Heyward walked, stole second, and got to third on a groundout, but he was stranded there.

The Cards got their run back in the fourth.  Mark Reynolds doubled, Wacha singled, and Carpenter drove Reynolds home with a sac fly.  Wacha even stole a base!! Cards lead 5-1.

That was it for Colin Rea.  His line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 94 pitches.

Odrisamer Despaigne came in and and played with fire but didn't get burned.  Peralta singled and Heyward doubled.  But then he got Yadi to ground out, and after intentionally walking Piscotty, Reynolds grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Despaigne's sixth was better, retiring the three batters he faced.

In his third inning of work, Heyward got to him.  After Peralta got hit by a pitch, Heyward scored him with a triple, leaving him a homer short of the cycle.  Yadi sac-flied him in, too.  If the game wasn't out of reach by this point, Piscotty used his next swing to make it that way.  He smashed a breaking ball into the seats in left for yet another run.  Reynolds also collected his second double of the game.  Cards up 8-1.

Old friend Mark Rzepczynski took care of Brandon Moss, Carpenter and Pham in the eighth.

Jason Heyward had the opportunity in the ninth to hit for the cycle, if he could just hit that ball over the wall.  It would be one of those memory-making moments.  Instead, it would be Stephen Piscotty who would make some memories today.  Off of Craig Kimbrel, Stephen rapped his second homer of the game into the seats in left-center.  It was his first multi-homer game.  The homer knocked Kimbrel out of the game in favor of my favorite name in the majors, Kevin Quackenbush, who retired Peter Bourjos.  Cards lead 10-1.

Bottom halves -

Yadi dropped an easy popup off Yangervis Solarte's bat, but he popped out to Pham on the next pitch, so it was ok. Wacha made quick work of the next two batters, too.

Yonder Alonso picked up a single in the second to start off the offense for the Padres.  Austin Hedges took a walk.  Clint Barmes drove in the Padres' first run with a single to right field.  Mark Reynolds made a nice diving stop to end the inning.  Cards lead 4-1.

A couple bloop hits in the third from Solarte and Justin Upton threatened some more runs for the Padres, but Wacha was able to work around them with no damage.  The inning ended on a tapper off the plate that the umpire deemed fair.  Yadi pounced on it and tagged out Alonso.

A 1-2-3 fourth for Wacha.

Wacha worked around a leadoff walk to Jedd Gyroko in the fifth.

J. Upton knocked a double off the wall to lead off the sixth, but again, Wacha was able to work around it.  That was it for Wacha.  His final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 102 pitches.

Jonathan Broxton took over in the seventh.  He wasn't great, and allowed a couple hits, but no runs.

Steve Cishek held the score, giving up a single to Travis Jankowski in the process.

Kevin Siegrist coughed up a double to old friend Brett Wallace, and a single to Gyorko, and a HBP to Cory Spangenberg to load the bases.  Kemp drove in two runs with a single to center.  Randy Choate came in to stop the bleeding, getting Alonso to ground out.  It was an incredibly frustrating 9th inning for a game that was otherwise really enjoyable.  Cards win 10-3.

Final Notes -

  • I do not understand why Siegrist AND Choate pitched AND Maness AND Rosenthal were warming in this game.  That's the absolute opposite of what should have happened.  Siegrist threw 27!! pitches.

  • I would say that Wacha got much better results than his stuff today would indicate.  He was up in the zone a lot, and breaking balls weren't very sharp from my eye.

  • Three Cardinals had multi-extra-base-hit days- Reynolds with 2 doubles, Piscotty, 3-4 with a triple and two homers, and Heyward with a double and a triple.

  • Peter Bourjos is 0-for-his-last-20, dating back to July19.

  • Fangraphs
  • Gamenotes: CardinalsPadres

Looking ahead -

Tune in tomorrow for the first of a four game set against Tony LaRussa's Diamondbacks.  Lance Lynn will take on Robbie Ray starting at 9:10 CT.