Lynn handed tough-luck loss in San Diego

The Cardinals fail to score more than one run for the 27th time this season and fall to the Padres 3-1 in San Diego.

Lance Lynn was able to battle past a tight strike zone and some sloppy defense to give up only one earned run in his six innings of work. 

Lenny Ignelzi / AP

In a game between the NL's lowest-scoring offenses, the Cardinals put more runners on base but the Padres scored more runs Tuesday night in San Diego.

The outcome: A 3-1 loss that dropped the Cardinals to 2-2 on a six-game trip and marked the second straight game -- and 27th time this season -- they failed to score more than one run.

The Cardinals finished with six hits, five walks and one hit batter but went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. They also struck out 11 times, giving them double-digit K's for the fifth time in their past seven games. Padres starter Tyson Ross struck out seven in his six innings.

The Padres did not fare much better against Lance Lynn and three relievers, leaving nine on but managing two hits in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position. On this night against the second-lowest scoring team in the NL, that was enough.

3 UP

-- Lance Lynn's pitching. He completed his strong month by giving up two runs -- one earned -- in six innings even though he obviously wasn't pleased with the strike zone. All three of his walks came in the sixth inning, including the first two batters, and the first came around to score the go-ahead run. Lynn then loaded the bases with his third walk and fell behind 3-0 against pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal. But Lynn, showing a resolve we might not have seen last year, came back to strike him out. As Lynn walked off the field, he could be seen on the telecast yelling at home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo. It did not appear to be an invitation to dinner.

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-- Lance Lynn's hitting. He ripped a single to lead off the fifth, advanced to third on Matt Carpenter's double and scored the Cardinals' only run on Kolten Wong's sacrifice fly. The hit, Lynn's first since April 19, snapped an 0-for-29 skid and lifted his batting average for the season all the way to .051 (2 for 39).

-- Adam Wainwright. Hours after joining Twitter -- @UncleCharlie50 -- the Cardinals' ace already had more than 27,000 followers. And he had tweeted once, sort of. His lone tweet was wondering what he should tweet. It was two weeks ago at the Derek Jeter All-Star Game when Wainwright declared in a national TV interview that he wasn't a fan of social media. Apparently, Shelby Miller can be quite convincing. Via Twitter, he took credit for Wainwright's entrance into the world of 140 characters. 

3 DOWN

-- Defense. The Cardinals made three errors for the first time since April 18, and one proved costly. Wong air-mailed a throw to first base on Rene Rivera's leadoff grounder in the second that resulted in a two-base error and led to the Padres' first run; it was unearned. Matt Holliday was charged with an error on a throw home that allowed a runner to move from second to third. The problem wasn't that it allowed a runner to advance, but that it wasn't strong enough to stop a runner from scoring on a fly to medium left. The throw was on line but bounced twice before reaching the plate.

-- Petco Park. It gets a thumbs down from hitters such as Matt Adams and Allen Craig. With runners on first and second in the third, Adams lofted a fly ball that would have landed in the right-field seats at Busch but barely made the warning track in roomy Petco. The distance to right-center is 391 feet, compared to 375 at Busch. And that's after Petco's fences were moved in and lowered before the 2013 season.

Craig hit a ball even farther in the eighth inning, but it was to straightaway center and died in the coastal sea air at the fence, 396 feet from the plate.

-- Saturday's starter. The Cardinals haven't named one for a key game against the Brewers and Mike Matheny added intrigue to the topic when he told reporters in San Diego that it could be an "external" option. Translation: They are shopping for a starter. Even if they land one, he might not be on turn to pitch Saturday. Cole Hamels, for example, pitched Tuesday night (quite well, with eight shutout innings). Jon Lester was scheduled to start Wednesday but was scratched late Tuesday. Hmm.

Among internal candidates, Carlos Martinez and Marco Gonzales look to be leading possibilities. Martinez has not pitched since he went to the bullpen nine days ago, and Gonzales pitched well on Sunday for Memphis. Two other lefties, Tim Cooney and John Gast, also would figure to be in the discussion. 

You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @StanMcNeal or email him at stanmcneal@gmail.com.