Padres shut out Cardinals 3-0
SAN DIEGO — Lance Lynn and Clayton Richard have been friendly rivals since the 2003 Indiana state high school championships.
Richard pitched for state champion McCutcheon High of Lafayette. Lynn pitched for runner-up Brownsburg.
“It’s always interesting to come across another Indiana native in the major leagues,” Richard said Thursday night after he started the Padres to a four-pitcher, 11-hit, 3-0 shutout win over Lynn and the Cardinals at Petco Park.
Richard (7-13) allowed five hits over six innings and departed with a 1-0 lead. He walked one and struck out five. Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates and Brad Hand pitched one inning apiece to close out the win.
Lynn (10-7) allowed one run — produced on three first-inning infield hits — over six innings. He gave up six hits and three walks while fanning three.
Padres first baseman Wil Myers hit a two-run homer off Cardinals reliever Seung Hwan Oh in the seventh inning for the final margin.
However, the Cardinals went down swinging. They had six singles against the Padres’ bullpen in the last three innings but couldn’t score. St. Louis produced 12 baserunners in the game. Two were erased by double plays turned behind Richard. The other 10 were stranded, five while in scoring position.
Hand picked up his 16th save by striking out Dexter Fowler with the bases loaded to end the game. Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk hit back-to-back singles with one out in the ninth. After Hand struck out pinch hitter Luke Voit, pinch hitter Carson Kelly singled sharply to left to load the bases.
“I think every one of our guys thought we were going to pull it off right there,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Then Hand whiffed Fowler.
While the Padres pitchers worked out of numerous jams — the Cardinals were retired in order only once — Lynn was the victim of some terrible luck in the first ... as well as a lack of support for a second straight start.
Through six innings, the only difference between the Hoosier starters was the first-inning run San Diego scored without getting the ball out of the infield.
Manuel Margot opened the game with a topper between the mound and third that Cardinals third baseman Alex Mejia couldn’t cleanly field. Margot stole second and moved to third on Carlos Asuaje’s sacrifice bunt.
Jose Pirela then topped another roller toward Mejia. Margot raced home as Pirela reached first with a single and advanced to second on Mejia’s throwing error. After Yangervis Solarte flied out, Myers reached on the inning’s third infield single. Cory Spangenberg walked to load the bases before Lynn got the final out on a comebacker.
“The first was a little deceiving with the trouble he was in,” Matheny said of Lynn. “But once again, not a lot of hard-hit balls, not a lot of mistakes. I thought he threw the ball well.”
Lynn said, “Giving up three hits with none of them reaching the infield dirt, that’s just baseball sometimes. I gave up one (run), and I’d like to have that one back.”
Over his past two starts, Lynn has allowed one run over 14 innings, but the Cardinals have failed to score in the two games while he was pitching.
The Cardinals threatened to tie the game in the top of the seventh. After Stammen struck out the first two batters he faced, Greg Garcia and Breyvic Valera hit back-to-back singles. It was the first major league hit for Valera, who made his major league debut Tuesday night at Petco Park.
Stammen then retired pinch hitter Tommy Pham on a liner to center.
Asuaje opened the bottom of the seventh with a single off Cardinals reliever Zach Duke, who faced only one batter. Oh retired the next two hitters before Myers connected on a 2-1 fastball, driving it 408 feet into the left field stands for his first homer since Aug. 12.
Richard had a total of 11 ground-ball outs. Only one out was recorded by an outfielder during his stint.
“Clayton held it together,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “He stayed with the game plan.”
“He’s just funky,” Matheny said of Richard, a former fastballer turned sinkerball specialist after two rounds of shoulder surgery. “Guys had trouble picking him up. He had good movement. He had that cutter working the inside part of the plate really well. That tied our guys up pretty good.”
The Cardinals won the first three games of the series and finished a 10-game trip with a 7-3 record. The Padres finished an 11-game homestand at 6-5.
NOTES: Manager Andy Green said the Padres plan to stick with a six-man rotation although they have two days off next week bookending a two-game series in Minnesota. “Some guys will get an extra day’s rest and some will get two extra days,” Green said. ... Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said INF Matt Carpenter could return to the lineup Friday in St. Louis to face the Pittsburgh Pirates. Carpenter missed the final three games of the Padres series with a sore right shoulder. ... 2B Kolton Wong (back) won’t start Friday but is expected to be back in the lineup over the weekend. ... Even when Wong returns, Matheny said the Cardinals would continue to utilize the glove of rookie Alex Mejia late in games for infield defense.