Cards jump on Padres' bullpen in late innings

Cards jump on Padres' bullpen in late innings

SAN DIEGO -- Jeremy Hazelbaker and Jedd Gyorko hit three-run homers and Aledmys Diaz had five hits to power the Cardinals past the Padres, 11-2, in the second game of a three-game series at Petco Park on Saturday night.

Hazelbaker, who had been hitless in his last 17 at-bats, sent a 1-2 pitch from Carlos Villanueva in the seventh into the Sun Diego Beach beyond the right-center-field fence.

"He put a nice easy swing on it,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He trusted it and it carried in a big ballpark.''

Gyorko, the former Padre, tacked on in the eighth with a three-run shot of his own, also against Villanueva, into the second deck in left.

Michael Wacha pitched six innings and allowed two runs to earn the victory. Wacha gave up four hits and walked four, but did not record a strikeout.

Cesar Vargas started for San Diego and allowed one run on five hits in his Major League debut. Vargas, who was recalled from Double-A San Antonio on Friday, struck out three and walked three.

Double, double: Matt Kemp led off the sixth with his second double of the game, and came around to score the Padres' second run on a sacrifice fly by Alexei Ramirez.

Ramirez's go-ahead sacrifice fly

Wacha wiggles: The Padres loaded the bases against Wacha with one out in the sixth inning. But Wacha limited the damage to a run, getting Ramirez to fly out (for an RBI) and retiring Jemile Weeks on a grounder.

"He ended up giving up two on just four hits,'' Matheny said. "That's a pretty good day.''

Piscotty power: Stephen Piscotty pummelled an elevated, 79-mph curveball from Vargas for his third home run of the season, which tied the game at 1 in the sixth inning. He also singled and doubled.

Piscotty's solo homer ties game

"It was a pitch that I had to execute low and away, and I left it in the zone, a slider up," Vargas said through a translator. More >

Cheese from the knees Derek Norris continued his trend of throwing out would-be basestealers from his knees when he nailed Piscotty at second base in the second inning. Norris has thrown out three runners attempting to steal this season.

Norris catches Piscotty stealing

"I was surprised with the boos here; he was a good player here. But he has found a nice new home with us and he had a real nice day." -- Matheny on the reception for Gyorko

"Those guys are human. They're not perfect every single time out. We felt good with [Carlos Villanueva] about the matchup, his breaking ball plays very well against righties and lefties. We felt good with him in that situation, but it didn't work out tonight." -- Green on the bullpen allowing 10 runs in the game

Quackenbush knocks down liner

Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday, bad guy? Not really, but every time he came to the plate in this series he was met by a boo or two. Padres fans never forget that Holliday, then with the Rockies, scored the controversial winning run in the 2007 Wild Card tiebreaker game, which eliminated San Diego. The Padres haven't been that close to the playoffs since. Padres boosters remain convinced that Holliday never touched the plate on his awkward slide.

Cardinals: Mike Leake (0-2, 5.71 ERA), a San Diego native, seeks his first win with the Cardinals when he takes on the Padres in Sunday's finale. St. Louis has yet to prevail in any of Leake's three starts. First pitch is set for 3:40 p.m. CT.

Padres: Colin Rea (1-1, 5.51 ERA) takes the mound for San Diego in the finale, at 1:40 p.m. PT. Rea picked up his first win of the season after going five innings and allowing three runs on seven hits in his last start.

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Jay Paris is a contributor for based in San Diego.

Tim Powers is a contributor for and covered the Cardinals on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.