Padres pound Cardinals with homers, 5-run fifth

Padres pound Cardinals with homers, 5-run fifth

SAN DIEGO -- Travis Jankowski had two hits and knocked in a run in his Major League debut Friday and Yangervis Solarte, Matt Kemp and Brett Wallace hit home runs as the Padres topped the Cardinals, 9-3, for their fourth straight win and 500th all-time at Petco Park.

"There were a lot of great performances tonight," said Padres interim manager Pat Murphy.

San Diego pitcher Andrew Cashner allowed an unearned run in the first inning and cruised from there. He allowed four hits in six innings with two walks and eight strikeouts.

Jhonny Peralta had three hits for the Cardinals and Yadier Molina knocked in a run. John Lackey took the loss, allowing four earned runs in five innings.

A first for everything: Jankowski certainly didn't wait long to make an impact in his debut, bouncing the second pitch he saw up the middle for a single in his first at-bat in the third inning off Lackey. He later knocked in his first run with an RBI single in the fifth inning. He became the ninth player in franchise history with two or more hits in his first career game and first since Sean Burroughs in 2002.

"You could tell he was nervous in the first at-bat, but after that base hit, you could see all the weight come off his shoulders," Murphy said of Jankowski. More >

Jankowski's first career hit

Double Trouble: The Cardinals committed two errors in the fifth inning to spark the Padres, who scored five runs in the inning. Cashner bunted the ball into play, sending Alexi Amarista running toward second base, but first baseman Mark Reynolds threw the ball past Peralta as it landed in left-center field. However, the damage continued as left fielder Stephen Piscotty threw the ball in the dugout, permitting Amarista to score.

"We've done a nice job of not having multiple mistakes in a game defensively and when you do see it, it stands out," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "We have had a couple of those this year where we talk about the defense looking uncharacteristically off and just on a couple plays, and absolutely every time this happens it's going to cost you in the long run." More >

Amarista scores after two errors

So long, Solarte: For the third time in as many games, Solarte hit a home run. On Friday, his two-run home run down the right-field line was the big blast in a five-run fifth inning. For Solarte, the home run was his 10th on the season and tied his career high from a year ago with the Yankees and Padres.

"He believes he can play. You can see it in him. Look at the way he responds to a poor at-bat. This kid believes, and I think that's a big part of the battle," Murphy said."

Solarte's two-run shot

Defense keeps it close: Although errors would burn the Cardinals, there were some moments the defense stood out. In the fourth inning, Jason Heyward made a nice throw from right field to get Yonder Alonso running to second base. Later, Piscotty made a diving catch in left field to rob Jankowski of his third hit in his debut.

Heyward nabs Alonso at second
Piscotty's diving grab

"It was a great experience and something I'll never forget. I had some butterflies. But, honestly, if not for the guys in the clubhouse, I would have been more nervous," -- Jankowski said of his big league debut

Padres left fielder Justin Upton reached a milestone when he knocked in a run with a fifth-inning single for his 600th career RBI. Upton became the seventh active player to reach that milestone before the age of 28. Alex Rodriguez (936 RBIs before turning 28), Miguel Cabrera (890), Albert Pujols (861), Adrian Beltre (687), Prince Fielder (671) and David Wright (664) have also accomplished as much. Upton turns 28 on Aug. 29.

J. Upton's RBI single

Cashner had his best start in nearly three months, even though he allowed another unearned run -- the 22nd he's allowed this season, the most in the big leagues and 10 more than anyone else. But he didn't allow an earned run in a start for the first time since May 22 against the Dodgers.

Cashner's stellar outing

Cardinals: Carlos Martinez (12-5, 2.59 ERA) gets the start for St. Louis in the 7:40 p.m. CT game on Saturday. The Cardinals are 18-4 in his 22 starts this season. He has a 2.02 ERA since May 20, the fifth lowest in the National League.

Padres: Ian Kennedy (7-11, 4.20) gets the start in the second game of the series at 5:40 p.m. PT. Since June 2, a span of 14 starts, Kennedy has a 2.82 ERA. He's allowed more than three runs once in that stretch.

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Corey Brock is a reporter and Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.