Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cardinals bullpen struggles late; drop opener to Padres 4-2 (5/20)

On night where the St. Louis Cardinals got another impressive outing from their sensational rookie pitcher Shelby Miller, the San Diego Padres got an even better outing from Jason Marquis as the bullpen buckled late in the 4-2 series opening loss on Monday night in a Major League Baseball regular season contest.

The former Cardinal' pitcher, Marquis, pitched six strong innings and picked up his fifth straight win in a row. He allowed two runs on the night, with just one of them being earned, and gave up just three hits as the San Diego bullpen also shut down the Cardinals with no runs allowed and one hit given up in three innings of work between four players. Marquis improved his record to 6-2 on the season and is pitching some of his best baseball of his career at the lone age of 34 years young.

Miller pitched 5 and 2/3 innings as he picked up a loss to fall to 5-3 on the season. He allowed three runs on five hits with five strike outs and four walks on the night. He was lifted from the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning as his replacement, Fernando Salas, entered the game with runners on first and second. Chris Denorfia singled to center and drove in Carlos Quentin for his only RBI on the night to tie the ball game up at 2 each.

Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Salas then hit Jesus Guzman to bring in the Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko, in what proved to be the game-winning run as it had given San Diego a 3-to-2 lead. After a scoreless seventh frame from the Cardinals, Matheny brought in Mitchell Boggs for his first assignment since being promoted back to the majors following the injury to Jaime Garcia. The second pitch to the first batter that Boggs seen was crushed into the stands by Will Venable, which proceeded to give the Padres a two-run lead and eventually the games' 4 to 2 final score.

The Cardinals offense was held in check with just four total hits as Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday both had a hit each -- and then two off of the bat of starting center fielder Jon Jay. The first run from St. Louis was due to a fielding error from Chase Headley from a hit off of the pitcher, Shelby Miller, as Yadier Molina crossed the plate in the top half of the second. Then in the top half of the third inning, in a 1-1 tie, Allen Craig grounded into a double-play with no outs as Beltran scored after standing on third base.

The Padres got RBIs from Venable as he hit a solo home run, as well as Headley, Guzman, and Denorfia, who went 3-for-4 at the plate on the night and upped his batting average to .301 on the season.

The Cardinals fell to 28-16 on the season while the Padres improved their record to 21-23 following the win. The second of this current three game series will deliver the first pitch at 9:10 pm Central Time on Tuesday night, as it will be the second game of the current six game West Coast road trip.

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