Cards start fast to help Wacha win No. 15

Cards start fast to help Wacha win No. 15

SAN DIEGO -- Michael Wacha allowed one run in six innings Sunday and Stephen Piscotty hit two home runs and knocked in five runs as the Cardinals snapped the Padres' five-game winning streak with a 10-3 victory at Petco Park.

Wacha, now tied for the Major League lead with 15 victories, yielded five hits, walked two and struck out three. Piscotty had a two-run triple as part of a four-run first inning, had a solo home run in the seventh inning and a two-run home run in the ninth inning.

"He's been very consistent for us. He's done a terrific job," manager Mike Matheny said. "I didn't think he had his top stuff today, missed a lot high and out of the zone, which didn't really allow his changeup to have its effectiveness that it normally has. He pitched with heart more than anything today, and figured out a way to get outs in tough counts."

Wacha snags comebacker

San Diego rookie pitcher Colin Rea, who won his first two Major League starts, scuffled early, allowing five runs (four earned) in four innings on four hits, with two walks and four strikeouts.

Coming undone: Ten pitches into Sunday's game, the Padres had committed two errors and trailed, 1-0. Rea had a throwing error and third baseman Yangervis Solarte had an error as well that contributed to the Cardinals' four-run first inning. All told, Rea needed 32 pitches to get three outs. More >

Pham scores on error

(Weird) home-road splits: It's not unusual to find Padres hitters with better offensive statistics on the road than at Petco Park, a big ballpark that generally favors pitchers much more so than hitters. Don't tell Justin Upton this. Upton has hit 15 of his 20 home runs at home and, on Sunday, had two hits in the loss to the Cardinals, including a sixth-inning double off Wacha. He's hitting .308 in home games in 2015 -- and .212 on the road.

Piscotty power: Piscotty was 0-for-8 in the series against San Diego heading into Sunday's game, but in his first at-bat of the game, he hit a sharp ball that traveled through right-center field, scoring Yadier Molina and Jason Heyward for Piscotty's second triple of the season. In the seventh inning, Piscotty blasted a homer off a 1-2 pitch to left field. With two-outs in the ninth, Piscotty took Craig Kimbrel deep for the rookie outfielder's first multi-homer game.

"I am not necessarily trying to be conscious of hitting a home run," Piscotty said. "I have spent a lot of time working on that and trying to get muscle memory, and hopefully it is there. That's the best I can describe it." More >

Piscotty's solo blast

Heyward nearly goes for a ride: Heyward batted in the ninth inning with a chance at a cycle, having singled in the first, doubled in the fifth and tripled in the seventh (with a walk in the third). But batting against former Braves teammate Kimbrel, Heyward popped out in foul territory to finish his 3-for-4 day.

Heyward's RBI triple


"I think we're in a pretty good spot right now. Not an ideal spot, but for what we've been through, we can still see the frontrunners." -- Padres interim manager Pat Murphy on the team's 5-1 homestand that saw them inch to within two games (61-63) of .500.

"What we had to do today was play better baseball than what we had played the last two days. ... So it was nice to see a lot of fire and a lot of energy -- guys just coming out and playing the game the right way right from the top today." -- Matheny

Matt Kemp's 14-game hitting streak nearly came to an end Sunday, as he went hitless in his first four at-bats before hitting a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning. The streak is the longest stretch in club history since Will Venable's 15-game hitting streak in 2013. It's Kemp's longest hit streak since he had a 16-game streak in 2014, while he was with the Dodgers.

"Every pitch is important to him. This guy plays every single night. He's doing so much for this club," Murphy on Kemp.

Kemp's two-run single

Matheny challenged a call where Cory Spangenberg was hit by a pitch to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Cardinals leading, 10-1, and with one out in the inning. After a short review, the call stood.

It didn't matter much in the end, but Jedd Gyorko, who entered the game at shortstop in the fifth inning, started a nifty inning-ending, 6-4-3 double play by ranging to his right to field a grounder hit by Mark Reynolds. The Padres plan on taking a look at Gyorko, a second baseman by trade, over the last six weeks at shortstop to see if he's a fit there for 2016.

Despaigne induces double play

Cardinals: St. Louis will travel to Arizona for a three-game series against the D-backs starting on Monday at 9:10 p.m. CT. Lance Lynn (9-8, 2.94 ERA) will get the start for the Cards. The last time Lynn faced Arizona was back in May, when he took a no-decision, walking four and allowing two earned run through six innings.

Padres: The Padres are off on Monday before opening a three-game series on the road on Tuesday against the Nationals at 4:05 p.m. PT. James Shields (9-5, 3.74) will get the start. Shields has a 4.75 ERA in 14 road starts this season.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.