Saturday’s Game Report: Padres 13, Cardinals 3

Saturday’s Game Report: Padres 13, Cardinals 3

By Rob Rains

All that you need to know about what happened on Saturday night at Petco Park is that Matt Carpenter was the Cardinals’ most effective pitcher.

It was that kind of night.

After Adam Wainwright gave up a home run in each of the first three innings, three relievers failed to slow down the Padres and with several relievers not available, the Cardinals turned to Carpenter to make his professional pitching debut in the seventh inning.

“It’s come up in the last several years,” said manager Mike Shildt about bringing Carpenter in to pitch, with Carpenter telling him, “Hey I’m your guy, I’m your guy.’ Haven’t thankfully had to take him up on it and used some other guys in situations. He mentioned to Ollie (Marmol) ‘I want to make sure I’m the guy that goes in if we need somebody.’

“That’s why I went out just to verify ‘are you sure’ and he said ‘absolutely, let me get in there’ so we made the switch.”

Inheriting a bases-loaded jam,  Carpenter gave up a two-run single to the first hitter he faced, but then got out of the inning and pitched a scoreless eighth, taking the focus of an ugly loss. He got the final four outs on pitches that ranged from 55 to 78 miles per hour.

“There’s some levity to it for sure,” Shildt said. “Got to flush it a little bit. It’s not fun so I’m not sure that’s the right term, but I guess levity is it, provides a little levity to the situation.”

The 35-year-old Carpenter became the oldest position player to pitch for the Cardinals since Bobby Bonilla, 38, did it in 2001.

“He was a good teammate and got four outs for us,” Shildt said. “Clean inning. It’s on his resume.”

Here is how Saturday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: All of the Cardinals runs came on home runs, from Yadier Molina in the fourth, Nolan Arenado in the sixth and Harrison Bader in the seventh. For Molina it was the first home run of his career in 139 plate appearances at Petco Park … Arenado’s homer was his eighth of the year, tying him with Tyler O[Neill for the team lead … They had just three other hits, all singles, and had only one at-bat in the game with a runner in scoring position.

On the mound: It was the 10th time in Wainwright’s career he allowed three or more homers in a game (one four-homer game). The first homer was a two-run shot by Tommy Pham in the first, only the third first-inning homer allowed by the Cardinals this season. Wainwright lasted through the fourth, allowing the first six San Diego runs on eight hits and three walks … Junior Fernandez, added from the taxi squad before the game, allowed three runs, Tyler Webb gave up one and Jake Woodford three as the Padres pounded out 17 hits and equaled their second highest run total ever at home against the Cardinals and the most since they scored 17 runs in a game in 1993. The 17 hits and 13 runs were the most allowed in a game by the Cardinals this season.

Key stat: Wainwright had allowed only three home runs against the Padres in his career coming into the game, a total of 15 games, 327 batters faced and 82 innings pitched. He had allowed one homer in 2006, one in 2010 and one in 2016 and then gave up three in a span of 11 batters on Saturday night.

Worth noting: Because Johan Oviedo walked five of the 13 batters he faced in his start on Friday night, forcing the bullpen to cover six innings, he was optioned to Memphis on Saturday so the Cardinals could add a fresh reliever, Fernandez, who was traveling with the team as part of the taxi squad … Daniel Ponce de Leon made his second rehab start for Memphis after recovering from shoulder inflammation. Prepping to return to the majors as a reliever, Ponce de Leon did not allow a hit in two scoreless innings but did issue three walks …. Also set to make another rehab start for the Triple A team is Miles Mikolas, his third, on Sunday. Mikolas could throw about 80 pitches and if he recovers well, it’s possible it’s next start could be for the Cardinals, perhaps as early as next weekend.

Looking ahead: Kwang Hyun Kim will get the start on Sunday night in the final game of the series and the roadtrip as the Cardinals to prevent the Padres from sweeping the series. The game begins at 6 p.m. St. Louis time and will be televised by ESPN.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.