This is what the Padres look like when they're firing on all cylinders, and, if you'll let me rip off Mark Grant for a moment, it's somekindofnice. Andrew Cashner put up a great six-inning start, Yangervis Solarte and Matt Kemp both went yard, and rookie center fielder Travis Jankowski went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run in his major league debut. When you put that together, you get the Friars' fourth win in a row and their eighth in the last ten games. At two games under .500, they're probably another ten in a row out of contention with precious little time left in the season, but it's still exciting to watch them play some of the best baseball we've seen this year.
The first inning, though, was not an example of the team at their finest. After Cash retired the first batter of the game, Stephen Piscotty (no relation to a cookie you dunk in your coffee) reached base courtesy of an Alexi Amarista error. He moved to second when Jhonny Peralta picked up the first hit of the game, and went to third on what should have been the final out of the inning. Then Yadier Molina hit an RBI single to put the Cardinals up 1-0.
That score held until the fifth, when the Pads hung a very crooked number on John Lackey. Amarista made up for his earlier error by leading off with a line drive single to left. Then, with Cashner at the plate, the St. Louis defense imploded. A pair of throwing errors sent Amarista all the way home and put Cash on third. Then Jankowski picked up his first RBI with a single up the middle, and his first run when Solarte went deep. Yonder Alonso kept the rally going by drawing a walk. A wild pitch sent him to second, where he scored on Justin Upton's single to center.
The Cards got a couple more runs in the seventh when the bullpen got a little sloppy. Bud Norris started the inning by giving up a double to Mark Reynolds and a triple to Tony Pham. That got him replaced by Marc Rzepczynski, who beaned Brandon Moss before getting Matt Carpenter to hit a fly ball for the first out of the inning. Shawn Kelley took over and allowed an RBI sac fly to Piscotty before ending the inning. That still gave San Diego a comfortable enough lead, but the team really shut the door in the eighth. Amarista led off with a double, which set up Brett Wallace to go yard off Carlos Villanueva. Solarte followed up with a one-out single, which led to Kemp's fifteenth homer of the season. A perfect ninth from Kevin Quackenbush sealed the deal.
Ian Kennedy will try to keep the streak alive when he takes the mound tomorrow at 5:40 PM.
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