Clayton Richard was on top of his game today. For the second start in a row, he went eight innings, holding the Cardinals to two runs in this afternoon’s series finale. While the ten Ks he racked up along the way matched a career high, the bullpen should be most thankful for a day of rest after last night’s extra innings bonanza. Well, all except for Brad Hand who nearly wasted all of Clayton’s hard work.
St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright didn’t have anything today, walking six Friars before getting pulled in the third. Two of those walks put the Padres on the board first. Eric Hosmer and Jose Pirela drew a pair of free bases to start the third, and Raffy Lopez took a one-out walk to load ‘em up. A single from Cory Spangenberg brought Hosmer around, and Freddy Galvis scored Pirela with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Padres picked up two more in the fourth off of John Gant. Travis Jankowski hit a single then swiped second. Pirela knocked a double into left to put the Friars up by three, and a single from Franchy Cordero plated Pirela for the second time.
Clayton’s only trouble came in the sixth. With one out, he walked Tommy Pham before Harrison Bader hit a triple into center. A single from José Martínez plated another run for the Cards, but it was the last one Richard would give up. And the Padres got one of those back in the eighth after Galvis doubled to start the inning. A bunt and a sac fly and he was home.
Brad Hand came in to pick up the save in the ninth, and for a moment it seemed everything was going to fall apart. Bader led off with a bomb into the right field porch, and then Hand seemed to forget how to throw strikes. He walked Martinez, who went to second when Marcell Ozuna was generous enough to ground out on a lousy pitch that would have been a ball. Jedd Gyorko was not so generous. He took a walk, and Ozuna took third when ball four turned into a wild pitch. Hand beaned Paul DeJong, and that’s when the boo birds showed up. Thankfully, Brad struck out the next two batters to send the Madres in attendance home happy.
The Padres will host the Rockies tomorrow, with Joey Lucchesi taking the mound at 7:10 PM.