Baseball / Sports

St. Louis Cardinals' Kolten Wong scores against the San Diego Padres on a two-run single by teammate Jon Jay during the first inning on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

Cardinals thwart Padres' rally, win 7-6

ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright maneuvered his way through seven innings and Matt Carpenter drove in three runs with a homer and a double as the Cardinals took three of four games from the Padres, winning Sunday's game 7-6 at Busch Stadium.

The Padres scored two runs in the ninth off closer Trevor Rosenthal before Seth Maness got the final two outs. It was the second straight rocky outing for Rosenthal, who allowed five of the seven batters he faced on Thursday to reach base. On Sunday, he walked three of the four hitters he faced before being removed, but manager Mike Matheny stated, emphatically, after the game, that Rosenthal was the Cardinals' closer and he would not be moved, even temporarily. "That's not happening," he said. "He's our closer."

"Right now, on the back of the last one he had," Matheny said, "we needed to get some help. Overall, he feels good. The ball has life. It looks like a timing issue more than anything else, then confidence, and which comes first, I don't know."

Wainwright retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced before allowing two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. He struck out five, but none after the fourth inning. He improved to 15-7, joining Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto as the only pitchers with that many wins. Cueto will go for No. 16 on Wednesday in the final game of the Reds' three-gamer series with the Cardinals that starts Monday.

The Cardinals scored four runs in the first off Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne on RBI singles by Jon Jay, Peter Bourjos and Tony Cruz. Carpenter hit a solo homer to start the second and drove in two runs with a two-out double in the sixth.

Those three runs were key after the Padres cut the Cardinals' 5-0 lead to 5-4 in the fifth inning. That came a day after the Cardinals had blown a 4-0 lead on Saturday in a 9-5 loss.

Rosenthal came on in the ninth and walked the first two batters he faced, on nine pitches, before striking out pinch hitter Rymer Liriano. Rosenthal then walked Yangervis Solarte on four pitches, and Mike Matheny brought in Maness with the bases loaded. Maness gave up a ground single to Abraham Almonte to score two runs. Seth Smith hit a hard grounder that Matt Adams made a diving stop on, deflecting it to Kolten Wong at second who threw to Maness covering first for the second out. Yasmani Grandal flew out to left to end the game.

Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday got the day off to rest his sore knee and get refreshed after going hitless in his past 18 at-bats.

(c)2014 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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