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San Diego at St. Louis

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Padres continue unlikely success at Busch, edge Cardinals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- About two weeks ago, Mark Sweeney homered and singled off Jason Schmidt in his first start of the season. On Saturday, Sweeney got his second start and thrived in another tough assignment.

Primarily a pinch hitter, Sweeney had the go-ahead hit for the second straight game. This time, he beat Chris Carpenter in the San Diego Padres' 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

"It was like the last time, 'Good luck drawing Schmidt,'" Sweeney said. "But it doesn't really matter when it comes down to that. A lot of it has to do with getting our guys rest."

Adam Eaton pitched into the seventh inning and Trevor Hoffman worked the ninth for the 401st save of his career, one day after becoming the third pitcher in major league history to reach 400, to help the Padres win their sixth in a row.

"Obviously, he didn't do a lot of celebrating last night," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He came out ready to go."

The Padres' streak includes the first three games of this four-game series, giving them their first series win in St. Louis since 1998. Before the series began, the Padres had lost 19 of 21 at Busch Stadium.

"It's hard to explain some things," Bochy said. "I think, No. 1, it's a credit to how good they are. To beat the Cardinals you have to play great baseball, and I think we've done that."

Eaton survived a shaky start when Larry Walker and Albert Pujols homered on consecutive at-bats with one out in the first for the Cardinals, who have lost three straight for the first time this season.

"Any time you give up a solo home run, it's actually easier on your pitch count," Eaton said. "They're going to get their runs regardless of how you pitch because they're so talented offensively and they're also able to grind some innings out."

After Walker hit his third homer on a 1-1 pitch and Pujols hit his seventh on a 2-2 delivery, Eaton gave up a double to the next hitter, Jim Edmonds, before settling down. Eaton (4-1) worked a season-high 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and eight hits while matching his season best with seven strikeouts.

Sweeney, who hit a pinch two-run homer and drove in three runs in an 8-3 victory on Friday, got his second start of the season with first baseman Phil Nevin sidelined by back spasms. His two-run double off Chris Carpenter (4-2) snapped a 3-all tie in the fifth and capped a four-run rally.

Nevin is expected back in the lineup on Sunday and Sweeney doesn't mind.

"I say it all the time: "We're better with him in there," Sweeney said. "There's a reason why I'm pinch hitting and there's a reason why Nevin is at first base and I'm fine with that.

"I'm just glad I got some much-needed at-bats."

Carpenter was uncharacteristically wild with five walks in seven innings, after entering with seven walks in 39 2/3 innings all season. He gave up five runs and seven hits.

In two previous starts against San Diego, Carpenter had allowed one earned run in 14 innings.

"It's just one of those days when I basically wasn't able to collect myself," Carpenter said. "I was throwing the ball up in the zone all day and wasn't able to get the ball down all day.

"My stuff was there, my mechanics wasn't."

The Cardinals scored on an RBI single by John Mabry in the fourth and Mark Grudzielanek's run-scoring single in the seventh that cut the gap to 5-4.

Ramon Hernandez had an RBI double in the fourth for the Padres' first run, and Mark Loretta and Ryan Klesko each drove in a run apiece in the four-run fifth. Walker took a few steps in on Hernandez's liner to right, then had to retreat and missed a leaping catch near the warning track.

Notes

  • Padres manager Bruce Bochy said Nevin would have gotten a day off during the team's seven-game trip anyway.
  • Bruce Weber, coach of NCAA basketball runner-up Illinois, was honored in a pregame ceremony.
  • The Cardinals are 8-8 at home and 10-3 on the road.
  • Hoffman is 8-for-10 in save chances this season.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Mark Sweeney smacks a two-run double in the fifth inning as the Padres continue to roll. (AP)
Mark Sweeney smacks a two-run double in the fifth inning as the Padres continue to roll. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
San Diego

M. Sweeney
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
San Diego Padres
Dave Roberts, CF3100212 .262
Mark Loretta, 2B4111001 .283
Ryan Klesko, LF4011011 .245
Brian Giles, RF3210101 .213
Mark Sweeney, 1B3012111 .333
Ramon Hernandez, C4011022 .286
Sean Burroughs, 3B4010001 .295
Damian Jackson, SS3100102 .235
Adam Eaton, P2010000 .125
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000 .000
    Akinori Otsuka, P0000000 .000
   a- Robert Fick, PH1010000 .333
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
Totals315855511 
a-singled for Otsuka in the 9th
Batting
2B - Mark Loretta (4, Carpenter), Brian Giles (5, Carpenter), Mark Sweeney (1, Carpenter), Ramon Hernandez (4, Carpenter)
SH - Adam Eaton (2)
RBI - Mark Loretta (10), Ryan Klesko (16), Mark Sweeney 2 (6), Ramon Hernandez (14)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Sweeney 2 (3), Ramon Hernandez (5)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ryan Klesko 1
DP - Loretta
San Diego Padres
Adam Eaton (W,4-1) 6.2844272 3.79
Scott Linebrink (H,6) 0.1000010 4.38
Akinori Otsuka (H,5) 1000000 1.76
Trevor Hoffman (S,8) 1100120 3.86
IBB - Molina by Adam Eaton
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Eaton 97-62, Scott Linebrink 5-3, Akinori Otsuka 13-6, Trevor Hoffman 17-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Eaton 6-5, Akinori Otsuka 1-2
Batters Faced - Adam Eaton 28, Scott Linebrink 1, Akinori Otsuka 3, Trevor Hoffman 4
St. Louis Cardinals
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4011020 .313
Larry Walker, RF4111021 .247
Albert Pujols, 1B4221000 .336
Jim Edmonds, CF3010100 .279
Scott Rolen, 3B4010002 .260
John Mabry, LF4021010 .269
    David Eckstein, PR0000000 .269
Abraham Nunez, SS4110020 .289
Yadier Molina, C2000110 .188
   a- Reggie Sanders, PH0000100 .232
Chris Carpenter, P2000013 .000
   b- Roger Cedeno, PH1000001 .152
    Bill Pulsipher, P0000000 .000
    Al Reyes, P0000000 .000
   c- So Taguchi, PH1000011 .279
Totals334943108 
a-walked for Molina in the 9th
b-flied out for Carpenter in the 7th
c-struck out for Reyes in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jim Edmonds (5, Eaton)
HR - Larry Walker (3, Eaton), Albert Pujols (7, Eaton)
RBI - Mark Grudzielanek (10), Larry Walker (9), Albert Pujols (21), John Mabry (3)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Grudzielanek (2)
SB - Mark Grudzielanek (1, 2nd base off Linebrink/Hernandez)
CS - David Eckstein (2, 2nd base by Hoffman/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Carpenter-Nunez-Pujols, Nunez-Pujols, Nunez-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter (L,4-2) 7755550 4.24
Bill Pulsipher 1.1000000 6.75
Al Reyes 0.2100000 3.60
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 110-61, Bill Pulsipher 12-9, Al Reyes 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 10-3, Bill Pulsipher 2-2, Al Reyes 2-0
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 30, Bill Pulsipher 4, Al Reyes 3
Game Information
Attendance - 45950
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Joe West