Cardinals bullpen melts down in 12-4 loss to Padres
ST. LOUIS — Yangervis Solarte ended his RBI drought with a barrage of timely hits.
Solarte homered and drove in a career-high six runs, Austin Hedges also went deep and the San Diego Padres beat the St. Louis Cardinals 12-4 on Tuesday night.
Solarte hit his homer a projected 455 feet over the right-field bullpen in the eighth inning to cap his career night. The Padres, who tied a season high for runs, had scored six runs over their previous four games combined, and Solarte had six RBIs over the last two weeks.
“I just focused on the middle of the field and the results were good,” Solarte said through an interpreter.
Solarte capitalized on starter Lance Lynn’s lack of control with a three-run double in the second. Lynn needed 64 pitches to get through the first three innings. He hit two batters, including opposing starter Clayton Richard, ahead of Solarte.
Solarte said a 13-pitch at-bat by Carlos Asuaje, which ended in a strikeout, helped to set up the double.
“It’s always going to help when you have guys going up ahead of you and battling because for one, it tires them out, and two, you get to see how he’s pitching,” Solarte said. “At the same time, when you finally get up there, he’s not as fresh, he’s not as crisp, and when we go up there after an at-bat like that, he’s going to make a mistake.”
Hedges’ three-run homer off Zach Duke capped a six-run seventh inning that also included three runs off Matt Bowman (3-5). It was Hedges’ first homer since Aug. 8.
Richard allowed three homers and four runs in 5 2/3 innings despite entering the game with the NL’s best groundball percentage at 59.5 percent. Craig Stammen (1-2) got one out in the sixth for the victory.
Solarte doubled in the fifth to regain the lead for the Padres. He has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games.
“When you look at who’s going to give us the best at-bat against top flight pitching, it’s consistently him,” Padres manager Andy Green said of Solarte. “So if you’re looking to beat a really good team like we are and a really good pitcher in this ballpark, he’s the guy that usually anchors that or causes that to happen.”
Lynn struck out four through six innings. All three batters Bowman faced scored as St. Louis pitchers gave up at least five runs for the 12th straight game.
“I need to be better than that,” Lynn said. “I mean better overall. I had better stuff than the line showed. Next time I should be better and I just need to get back on it.”
Jedd Gyorko and Stephen Piscotty hit back-to-back homers to tie it in the fourth. Gyorko’s two-run blast was his seventh in seven career games against his former club, and it was Piscotty’s first homer since June 18. It was the sixth time this season the Cardinals hit back-to-back home runs.
Yadier Molina’s solo homer in the sixth drove Richard out of the game and tied it 4-4. He passed Ted Simmons for 12th on the Cardinals’ career hit list (1705) and tied George Hendrick at 17th for homers (123).
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) August 23, 2017
BIG MAC RETURNS
San Diego bench coach Mark McGwire will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame on Saturday. McGwire played for the Cardinals from 1997-2001, hitting .270 with 220 home runs and 473 RBI, including 70 homers in 1998.
Padres: Reinstated OF Matt Szczur (family leave) and optioned LHP Kyle McGrath to Triple-A El Paso.
Cardinals: LHP Kevin Siegrist (left forearm) threw his fourth bullpen and will go on a rehab assignment to the team’s spring training complex in Jupiter, Florida, on Tuesday.
Padres: RHP Jhoulys Chachin (11-8, 3.98 ERA) has allowed two or fewer runs in 11 of his last 13 starts. His 2.63 ERA during that span is the third-lowest in the NL and fifth-lowest in the majors (min. 13 starts).
Cardinals: RHP Luke Weaver (1-1, 3.31 ERA) will be making his first career start against San Diego. He has allowed three runs or less in eight of his last 10 major league starts.