|St. Louis (70-53) «||0||4||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||5||5||2|
|San Diego (51-72)||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||4||0|
Pineiro won his sixth consecutive decision with another strong outing and the Cardinals padded their NL Central lead with a 5-1 victory against the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.
Brendan Ryan hit a grand slam in the second inning to stake Pineiro (12-9) to a 4-0 lead and the right-hander made it stick.
The Cardinals' victory increased their lead to a season-high seven games on the Chicago Cubs, who lost 7-2 at the Los Angeles Dodgers. St. Louis won for the 16th time in 21 games.
"We're playing well, just keep pushing," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.
Pineiro has played a large part in the Cardinals' bid to run away with the division race. He has not lost since late June and St. Louis has won his past nine starts.
"When he has that sinker working, I can really kind of shade the hitter and it makes for routine ground balls," said Ryan, who hit his first career grand slam.
Pineiro had control issues in the first two innings before he settled down and held the Padres to one run and four hits over 7 2/3 innings. He gave credit to Ryan's second home run of the season for helping him to relax.
"The big grand slam by Ryno kind of gave me a little bit of extra breathing room to settle down and go out there and work," Pineiro said.
Pineiro also received steady play from his defense, including catcher Yadier Molina, who threw out two runners attempting to steal. San Diego had leadoff walks in the first and third innings erased when Molina threw out would-be base stealers.
"That's huge; he's the best," Pineiro said. "If you give him a little time to throw the ball, he's going to most of the time get the guys out. He's the best behind the plate."
Molina has thrown out 14 of 42 (33.3 percent) of potential base stealers this season.
"It takes you out of a lot of jams and saves it from being a bigger inning," Pineiro said.
The Cardinals have beaten San Diego nine times in a row, including a three-game sweep last weekend in St. Louis.
Pineiro struck out six, walked two and combined with three relievers on a four-hitter.
The only run Pineiro allowed was a home run to rookie Kyle Blanks, who connected in the second inning for his ninth homer. Blanks connected for the third time in four games.
"[Pineiro] had good action down in the zone," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We just couldn't solve him."
Ryan's first career grand slam came off Tim Stauffer (1-6) after the righty hit Matt Holliday leading off the inning. With one out, Stauffer walked Mark DeRosa and hit Molina to load the bases. Ryan hit a 3-1 pitch into the left-field stands for the Cardinals' seventh grand slam this season.
"I had the green light at 3-0 but didn't like the pitch," Ryan said. "The next one was up and I put my best swing on it."
Said Stauffer: "I threw the [fastball] that rode back over the middle and he put a good swing on it."
Stauffer gave up four runs and four hits over five innings. He struck out six and walked two.
St. Louis added a run in the sixth on Holliday's leadoff triple off Greg Burke and Molina's groundout.
The Padres were held to one run for the second successive game as they lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Khalil Greene struck out pinch-hitting in the ninth in his first appearance in San Diego, where he played his first six seasons before he was traded to St. Louis in the offseason.
|Brendan Ryan's first career grand slam turns out to be the margin of victory for St. Louis. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
Cardinals 2011 World Series Champions Ticket Frame Jr. Shop Now!
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Skip Schumaker, 2B||4||0||2||0||0||2||0||.296|
|Colby Rasmus, CF||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.254|
|a- Ryan Ludwick, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.265|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.318|
|Matt Holliday, LF||3||2||1||0||0||0||0||.315|
|Rick Ankiel, RF-CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.235|
|Mark DeRosa, 3B||1||1||0||0||3||0||0||.256|
|Yadier Molina, C||3||1||0||1||0||1||2||.294|
|Brendan Ryan, SS||3||1||1||4||1||0||1||.292|
|Joel Pineiro, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.160|
|Kyle McClellan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Khalil Greene, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.209|
|Trever Miller, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason Motte, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Rasmus in the 7th|
|b-struck out for McClellan in the 9th|
|2B - Skip Schumaker (28, Stauffer)|
|3B - Matt Holliday (3, G. Burke)|
|HR - Brendan Ryan (2, Stauffer)|
|RBI - Yadier Molina (43), Brendan Ryan 4 (26)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|E - Colby Rasmus (6, Misplayed grounder), Skip Schumaker (8, Missed catch of throw)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Joel Pineiro (W,12-9)||7.2||4||1||1||2||7||1||3.15|
|Kyle McClellan (H,12)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.86|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 108-68, Kyle McClellan 3-2, Trever Miller 8-6, Jason Motte 3-3|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 10-5, Kyle McClellan 1-0, Trever Miller 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 28, Kyle McClellan 1, Trever Miller 2, Jason Motte 1|
|San Diego Padres|
|Tony Gwynn Jr., CF||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.278|
|David Eckstein, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||5||.255|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.274|
|Chase Headley, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.256|
|Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.260|
|Kyle Blanks, RF||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||.248|
|Nick Hundley, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.214|
|Everth Cabrera, SS||2||0||1||0||1||1||0||.275|
|Tim Stauffer, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.250|
|Greg Burke, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Luis Rodriguez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.216|
|Joe Thatcher, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Edward Mujica, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.000|
|b- Will Venable, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.259|
|Ryan Webb, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for G. Burke in the 6th|
|b-struck out for Mujica in the 8th|
|HR - Kyle Blanks (9, Pineiro)|
|RBI - Kyle Blanks (20)|
|2-OUT RBI - Kyle Blanks (9)|
|CS - Tony Gwynn Jr. (5, 2nd base by Pineiro/Molina), Everth Cabrera (3, 2nd base by Pineiro/Molina)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Kouzmanoff-Eckstein-Gonzalez, Cabrera-Eckstein-Gonzalez|
|San Diego Padres|
|Tim Stauffer (L,1-6)||5||4||4||4||2||6||1||3.95|
|IBB - Ryan by Greg Burke|
|HBP - Holliday (by Tim Stauffer), Molina (by Tim Stauffer)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Stauffer 101-57, Greg Burke 25-12, Joe Thatcher 6-4, Edward Mujica 15-9, Ryan Webb 13-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Stauffer 4-3, Greg Burke 1-2, Joe Thatcher 1-0, Edward Mujica 3-1, Ryan Webb 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Tim Stauffer 21, Greg Burke 6, Joe Thatcher 2, Edward Mujica 4, Ryan Webb 3|
|Attendance - 19867|
|Game Time - 2:39|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Delfin Colon, Third Base - Todd Tichenor|