ST. LOUIS -- Jon Jay's pinch-hit double to center field in the eighth inning scored two runs and the Cardinals beat the Padres 4-3 on Thursday in the opening game of a seven-game homestand.
The game ended with a bit of controversy, as Padres shortstop Alexi Amarista was called out at the plate on a single to right by pinch hitter Jake Goebbert in the top of the ninth. Amarista would have been the tying run and it looked as if A.J. Pierzynski may not have gotten a tag on Amarista after he went up the line to catch Shane Robinson's off-target throw. But home plate umpire Bob Davidson called him out and, after a 4 minute 9 second replay review, the ruling was upheld. Replays seemed to indicate Pierzynski missed the tag, but none of the angles was conclusive. Padres manager Bud Black was ejected for arguing the call. Cards closer Trevor Rosenthal then walked Will Venable to load the bases before striking out Tommy Medica for his 36th save.
John Lackey did what the Cardinals got him to do, pitching seven innings (on 110 pitches) and allowing just two runs, but it was Seth Maness who got the win after pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Milwaukee won earlier in the day, so the Cardinals remain two games back in the NL Central.
With the score tied at 2, the Cardinals loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth off reliever Alex Torres on a single by Tony Cruz, a four-pitch walk to Daniel Descalso who was trying to sacrifice and a sharp single to left by Matt Carpenter. Nick Vincent came on in relief of Torres and, with the infield in and the outfield shallow, Jay, batting for Peter Bourjos hit a fly ball off the wall in center to score Kolten Wong, who was running for Cruz, and Descalso.
The Cardinals had taken a 2-0 lead in the second on a home run by Jhonny Peralta, his 16th of the season, tying a club record for homers in a season by a shortstop. (Edgar Renteria and Daryl Spencer were the others.)
The Padres tied the game in the sixth, with both runs scoring on balls that didn't leave the infield. After loading the bases with none out, the Padres got one run on a grounder to Matt Adams at first and the other on a roller to third that Rymer Liriano beat out, scoring Tommy Medica.
Rosenthal gave up a leadoff single in the ninth and Liriano hit a ball that Shane Robinson caught at the wall. Alexi Amarista singled to put the tying run on base and then walked Chris Nelson before Goebbert's hit started the fireworks.
(c)2014 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Visit the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at www.stltoday.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services