Jedd Gyorko, who single-handedly (single-battedly?) propelled the Padres to victory on Friday, kept up his hot hitting on Saturday. Unfortunately his three hits were to no avail as the Friars fell 2-1 to the Cardinals. Yangervis Solarte provided San Diego's only run of the game with a fourth-inning home run as the offense failed repeatedly with runners in scoring position, wasting a solid road start by Odrisamer Despaigne.
The Padres left two runners on base in the second inning, then Melvin Upton, Jr took himself off the bases in the third by testing Yadier Molina's arm. After Solarte went Yan Solo in the fourth, the Padres stranded one runner in the fifth, then a pair in the sixth. Yonder Alonso led that inning off with a single but was erased when Solarte lined into a double play. This double play turned out to be huge when Justin Upton and Derek Norris followed with singles of their own. They were left at first and third when Will Venable went down swinging for the third out.
The seventh inning provided another chance for the Friars, but you know how that went. Gyorko led off with his second single of the day, moved to second base on a bunt by Alexi Amarista, then to third when pinch-hitter Brett Wallace grounded out. Melvin Junior kept the inning alive with a walk, but once again the inning ended on a strikeout with runners on the corners. This time it was Alonso providing the breeze. San Diego batters went down in order in the eighth inning, as they had done in the first. The top of the ninth didn't go much better; Gyorko got aboard with a one-out single, but didn't make it any farther as Amarista flied out and pinch-hitter Matt Kemp grounded out to end the game.
Despaigne was stellar on the mound for his first five innings, allowing just two singles and a walk. However when he came out for the bottom of the sixth he was greeted by center fielder Tommy Pham's first major league hit, a double. Matt Carpenter worked the count full and singled Pham home to tie the game and chase Despaigne from it. Marcos Mateo took over and finished the inning without any further damage. Shawn Kelley pitched a 1-2-3 seventh and was replaced by Brandon Maurer for the eighth. That's when things got ugly, albeit by no fault of Maurer.
Pham pounced on Maurer's first pitch for what should have been the first out of the inning, but Alexi Amarista had other ideas. His ninth error of the season put Pham on first base, which he promptly abandoned by stealing second. A groundout and a sac fly later, and there was the final score.
These two teams will meet back up at 11:15am PDT on Sunday for the finale of a four-game set. The Padres will try to avoid settling for the split by Ian Kennedy to the mound. St. Louis will answer with Lance Lynn.
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