SAN DIEGO -- Andrew Cashner was sharp over six frames, and Wil Myers provided the thump with a homer and three hits, as the Padres opened their series against the Cardinals with a 4-1 victory Friday night at Petco Park.
For Cashner, it was the second consecutive start in which he surrendered just one run over six innings. He didn't allow many baserunners, but when he did, he worked out of trouble masterfully. Cashner put men in scoring position in both the first and fifth innings, but he escaped both times by recording a strikeout before inducing an inning-ending grounder to second.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright didn't have his best stuff, but still managed to turn in a quality outing, allowing three runs on seven hits over six innings. Still, Wainwright remains in search of his first win and owns an ERA north of 7. More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Wil goes to the beach: Myers launched an opposite-field dinger in the bottom of the first, and in doing so, he became the first player to homer into the Padres' new Sun Diego Beach section beyond the right-center field wall. It was Myers' fourth long ball of the season. He finished a triple shy of the cycle. More >
Randal rakes:Randal Grichuk redirected a Cashner offering 432 feet for a fourth-inning home run which pulled the Cardinals to within 2-1. It was Grichuk's third homer of the year and marked the ninth game out of his last 10 in which he has scored a run.
Cash is money with the bat: Cashner's bunt single in the third inning sparked a rally that resulted in the Padres' second run of the game. Cashner pushed one up the first-base line, and beat out an errant throw from Wainwright, before eventually coming around to score on Myers' sac fly.
"I was going to go to third with it, and then at the last second, Adams was playing really far back, and I was just going to try to bunt it past the pitcher and get a foot-race," Cashner said.
Busy seventh:Aledmys Diaz ran into a costly out in the top of the seventh inning, trying to score after Matt Kemp's throw to second base got away. Padres third baseman Adam Rosales tracked down the ball and made a picture-perfect throw to home plate to nab Diaz. Ryan Buchter took care of the rest, getting former Padre Jedd Gyorko to fly out to right, and fanning Matt Carpenter to end the threat.
"(Diaz) just read it himself and as soon as he was called out he knew the magnitude of that particular decision,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "You need to be 100 percent sure in that situation because that changes a lot of things. You have to know the game situation and know that you know your run doesn't mean that much and the guy behind you does. Just one of those mistakes that cost."
Said Padres skipper Andy Green: "It probably saves the game. It definitely keeps the momentum going our way. It kind of quells the rally a little bit. It was a huge play for us."
"He's been a huge part of our bullpen. To hand a rookie the ball in the seventh inning against the Cardinals says we've got a lot of faith in him." -- Green on Buchter, who now has a 1.17 ERA in nine appearances this season
"I don't have anywhere to go and I don't have a paper route tomorrow morning. So I'm fine with whatever start time they give us.'' -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, a former Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch paperboy on Friday's 7:40 p.m. start.
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Looking for a potential bounceback candidate on the Padres? Look no further than catcher Derek Norris. Among qualifying Padres, Norris has the lowest batting average (.173) but the highest average exit velocity (93.01 mph). He hit the ball hard twice on Friday, but both resulted in fly outs to the warning track.
After Myers put the Padres on top 4-1 with an RBI double in the seventh, he swiped third base, barely ahead of Carpenter's tag. Matheny opted to challenge the play, but the ruling on the field was confirmed. Myers was left stranded at third two batters later when Melvin Upton Jr. bounced into a double play.
WHAT'S NEXT Cardinals: St. Louis trots out righty Michael Wacha (1-0, 2.76 ERA) in the second game of the series as he seeks his second straight win at Petco Park, after prevailing in San Diego last August. Wacha has not walked more than one batter in each of his three starts.
Padres: Cesar Vargas, after two stellar starts at Double-A El Paso, will make his Major League debut against the Cardinals, with first pitch at 5:40 p.m. PT. The right-handed Vargas gets his chance because lefty Robbie Erlin went on the DL with a bad elbow.