Baseball / Sports

Gyorko's slam leads Padres over Cards, 9-5

ST. LOUIS--In this terribly unpredictable St. Louis Cardinals season, it would stand to reason that their leader in three-base hits at five would be a player who never had had one in 382 big-league at-bats. That could only mean, of course, locomotive Matt Adams, whose three-bagger skipped off the right-field wall and scored Matt Holliday with the go-ahead run in the fifth inning Saturday night against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium.

Conversely, lefthander Kevin Siegrist had been mightily predictable last year in his rookie season in the Cardinals' bullpen. Siegrist allowed only two runs in 45 relief appearances.

He allowed twice that many runs on one Jedd Gyorko swing Saturday night and that grand slam in the seventh inning propelled the Padres to a 9-5 win in a game that was delayed 1 hour 46 minutes by rain after San Diego had gone ahead off Siegrist.

Siegrist, who posted a 0.45 earned run average last season as a key part of the young-guns bullpen that helped lift the Cardinals into the World Series, has allowed 11 runs in eight innings covering nine appearances after missing two months with a left forearm strain.

Holding a 5-4 lead, Siegrist struck out Yangervis Solarte to open the seventh. But Abraham Almonte was credited with a bunt single when Siegrist, after fielding the ball, one-hopped the ball through Adams at first.

Seth Smith capped a lengthy at-bat with a single to left and Yasmani Grandal walked.

Gyorko, a .193 hitter who drove in four runs against the Cardinals on July 30, barely cleared the wall at 347 feet, with his third career slam.

Manager Mike Matheny said he didn't believe anything to be wrong with Siegrist (1-3). "But it's not working right, right now," said Matheny. "He's had a few outings now where he's just not getting it done."

Siegrist insisted afterward, "I feel all right. Obviously today wasn't a good day. I didn't make the quality pitches to get out of that inning."

Asked if the two-month layoff from major league pitching had affected him, Siegrist said, "I guess, I don't know. I'm working to try to get back where I was. It's just not making quality pitches, that's what it comes down to. I don't have an answer right now.

"I'm not going to blame it on anything. Everything's fine."

Cardinals righthander Shelby Miller, who seemed to have alleviated his control issues in walking a total of three batters over his last four starts, took a step backward Saturday. But before his six-inning, six-walk outing was over, he had moved in a northerly direction again, retiring nine of the final 10 men he faced.

The Cardinals struck for four runs in the second off rookie Jesse Hahn, who begrudged them just one run in seven innings on July 30.

Adams' shattered-bat single to center preceded Jhonny Peralta's club-high 30th double which chased a sliding Adams home from first.

A.J. Pierzynski's fly to deep right sent Peralta to third and Oscar Taveras, who had two hits, lofted a fly to deep center where Almonte gave chase but couldn't catch up to it, with Peralta scoring.

Jon Jay then was hit by a pitch, one of two for the night and four over two nights. He is one of three players to have achieved back-to-back games of being hit by pitches twice since 1914, with Houston's Craig Biggio (2000) and the Chicago Cubs' Vince Barton (1931), the others.

"In college, I always used to get hit a lot," said Jay before the game. "I'm not on the plate but guys just try to come inside."

Miller hit what should have been an inning-ending double play. But as base runner Jay bore down on him, shortstop Alexi Amarista double-clutched before delivering his relay throw to first and Miller was safe.

Matt Carpenter then sent a liner to center where Almonte badly missed on a sliding catch attempt and the Cardinals' third double of the inning produced two more runs. Hahn had allowed only four runs in a game once in his first 11 starts.

Miller got into trouble in the third as Almonte and Smith singled to set up the Padres at first base and third with one out. Grandal chased ball four in striking out but Gyorko singled to right for the Padres' first run.

Rymer Liriano drew Miller's fourth walk to load the bases. And Jake Goebbert slashed a grounder past Adams at first. By the time right fielder Taveras could get to the carom off the short wall in front of the box seats, the bases had been cleared by the triple and the game had been tied at 4-4.

Miller's fifth walk of the night was an intentional one to Amarista and the inning finally ended when Hahn bounced to Miller, ending a dreadful 38-pitch exercise.

"I don't know what happened there," said Matheny. "Nothing was working. His timing was off. Everything was off.

"To his credit, this is one of the best we've seen of him gathering himself. Obviously, our (bull)pen is beat up and we needed him to go a little deeper and he did a real nice job of putting it back together.

"At that point, we were still in the game but there was a lot of damage done," said Matheny.

With Matheny deeming only closer Trevor Rosenthal available, other than the relievers who pitched, the manager wanted Siegrist to pitch two innings, not two-thirds of an inning. Nick Greenwood, who allowed the final run and worked 1 1/3 innings, had to be summoned, leaving open the possibility of pitching help coming from Memphis for Sunday's series finale.

Though Memphis is in El Paso, Texas, general manager John Mozeliak said it would be possible to bring in another reliever Sunday, if necessary.

Kevin Quackenbush retired the Cardinals in order in the ninth, with Holliday, nothing for his last 19, flying out for the final out.

With the loss, the Cardinals fell three games off the pace of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central Division.

"From here on out, they're all going to be tough losses," said Matheny. "We get some offensive production and it's hard to see that go away.

"We had two really rough innings and that made for a bad day."

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