The San Diego Padres won two games in a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals came into the series with a record of 87-61 and a sizable lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central. San Diego came into the game with a record of 81-66 and still fighting for a Wild Card spot. In this series, the Padres shut out the Cardinals in the first 22 straight innings. Unfortunately, things went downhill in the final five innings of the series.
The first game of the series included excellent offense and pitching. Everyone in the lineup except for first baseman Brandon Drury and catcher Austin Nola recorded at least one hit in the contest. Right fielder Juan Soto, third baseman Manny Machado and shortstop Ha-Seong Kim each recorded 2 hits with a run and an RBI.
Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger bounced back after a recent stretch of rough outings. He went five ⅔ innings, giving up no runs on three hits and two walks. He also threw three strikeouts. Clevinger lowered his ERA to 4.23 on the season. The Padres went on to win this game with a score of 5-0.
The second game of the series included stellar pitching on both sides. The only run scored was an RBI by Nola in the bottom of the second inning. San Diego recorded five hits in the game, while St. Louis was only able to muster two hits.
Starting pitcher Blake Snell was incredible in this game. Snell actually pitched six ⅔ innings before giving up a hit. Designated hitter Albert Pujols, who is trying to record two more home runs to reach the career milestone of 700 home runs, was the one who gave the Cardinals their first hit of the game. However, Pujols did not record a home run in this game.
Closing pitcher Josh Hader earned the save with a perfect bottom of the ninth inning. San Diego went on to win this game with a score of 1-0.
The third and final game of the series looked to be a continuation of the Cardinals being shut out by the pitching staff of the Padres. The fifth inning was when the streak ended for the Padres. San Diego had a 3-1 lead going into the seventh inning. Starting pitcher Joe Musgrove pitched well in the contest. He went five innings, giving up one run on five hits. He also had two walks and threw four strikeouts.
Unfortunately, relief pitchers Adrian Morejon and Nick Martinez each gave up two runs in the seventh inning to give St. Louis a 5-3 lead. San Diego tried to rally in the eighth inning, scoring a run in the bottom of the eighth. The Padres were unable to complete a comeback, and they went on to lose the game with a score of 5-4.
The Padres now have a record of 83-67. San Diego holds the second NL Wild Card spot. The team is one game ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies. Also, the Padres are 3.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers, who are on the outside looking in when it comes to the Wild Card race in the National League.
On a side note, the Padres have a +36 run differential. San Diego’s run differential is less than the Phillies, who have a +62 run differential. However, it is better than the Brewers’ run differential, which is +25.
The Padres will head to Denver to face the Colorado Rockies.