A whopping 44,816 were in attendance Saturday -- the eighth-largest crowd in Petco Park history -- as the Padres shut out the Cardinals for the first time since May of 2010. The 8-0 rout of St. Louis was an all-around team effort where the offense pounded out 12 hits and the pitching corps recorded 16 strikeouts.
The Friars broke open a solid pitching duel with a seven-run seventh that guaranteed their fourth straight series victory. Saturday's win also helped the Padres also improve to 9-2 in their last 11 games. Following Andrew Cashner's stellar start on Friday, Ian Kennedy threw a gem of his own with six-plus innings of shutout baseball on Saturday.
Kennedy struck out a season-high 10 batters and surrendered seven hits while walking only one en route to his eighth win of the year. Kennedy also saw his ERA drop from 4.20 to 4.01 -- the lowest it's been since the start of the season.
Although Kennedy's start was certainly a treat for the Friars and a substantial factor in their fifth consecutive win, one of the best moments on Saturday came in the seventh inning when a trio of Padres arms -- Shawn Kelley, Marc Rzepczynski and Bud Norris -- combined for three strikeouts in a shutout inning after Pat Murphy called for three pitching changes in the same inning.
Kelley, Rzepczynski and Norris all inherited runners at first and third and managed to pitch around the Cardinals threat to keep the Padres lead at 1-0. That same 1-0 lead would be a distant memory in the very same inning, however, as the Padres offense erupted for a seven-run seventh inning as 12 batters came to the plate to pound out seven hits, with two Friars collecting multiple hits in that same inning.
Alexi Amarista was one of those hitters as he led off the seventh as a pinch-hitter with a leadoff single. Amarista would eventually come around to score and then collect another base knock nine batters later. Travis Jankowski joined Amarista as the other Padre to hit twice in the seventh as the young rookie finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and a run scored.
Matt Kemp also extended his hitting streak to 14 games and collected his 74th RBI of the season with a two-run single in the seventh. Justin Upton also collected a pair of RBI after going 2-for-5 at the plate as the Padres improved to 21-2 when both Kemp and Upton collect at least one RBI.
Saturday wasn't all positive, however, as catcher Derek Norris left in the eighth inning after being struck with a 90 MPH fastball from reliever Kevin Quackenbush. Norris misread the ball and it ricocheted off of the inside of his left wrist, forcing him to leave the game. Norris had an excellent game otherwise, however, as he went 1-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored.
The Padres will close out their homestand and the current series against the Cardinals on Sunday with rookie Colin Rea taking the hill to face off against Michael Wacha at 1:10 pm. In case you missed it, here are some highlights and stories you may not have seen from Saturday: