Padres try to make it two straight over Cardinals
ST. LOUIS — Carlos Asuaje collected two hits and scored twice Tuesday night in the San Diego Padres’ 12-4 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals.
However, his best at-bat might have been one that saw him walk back to the dugout with bat in hand after swinging and missing a 92 mph fastball from Lance Lynn for the first out of the third inning.
That’s because it took Lynn 13 pitches to retire Asuaje, enabling the lineup’s remainder to get a better look at the right-hander’s offerings. It also might have taxed Lynn to the point that he hit the next batter, Jose Pirela, before giving up a three-run double to Yangervis Solarte.
It is those types of lengthy plate appearances that San Diego manager Andy Green hopes his team can construct more consistently, starting with the Wednesday night game in Busch Stadium.
“Those grind at-bats can change the trajectory of a game,” Green said. “Even though (Asuaje) struck out, it was still a great at-bat. It can wear a pitcher down.”
In Green’s view, another good sign for the Padres (56-69) was that they scored seven runs before belting a homer. They have been overly reliant on going yard to plate their runs, but that wasn’t the case Tuesday night.
San Diego has cracked 154 homers. Yet even with the offensive explosion in the series opener, when the Padres tied their season high for runs in a game, the club is averaging less than four runs per game.
“It hasn’t been who we’ve been for the most part,” Green said of the victory, “but we gave ourselves opportunities to plate a lot of runs. We kept scoring, we came up with big hit after big hit.”
While the Padres celebrated only their third double-figure outburst of the year and their first against an opponent besides the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis (63-62) gave up at least five runs in a game for the 12th consecutive contest. In fact, the Cardinals have allowed at least six runs in five straight games.
If the Cardinals make it 13 straight Wednesday night, they would tie a franchise record set in 1929 and duplicated in 2003.
“Guys are just going to have to pitch their way through it and get outs,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.
Another way to snap the streak would be a quality start from young right-hander Luke Weaver (1-1, 3.31 ERA), who gets the call in place of injured veteran Adam Wainwright. Weaver will make his third start of the year.
He relieved Wainwright on Thursday night in Pittsburgh, tossing two shutout innings and helping the Cardinals start a comeback from a 5-0 deficit that resulted in an 11-7 victory. This will be Weaver’s first career outing against San Diego.
Veteran right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (11-8, 3.98 ERA) gets the call for the Padres. He last worked in a 2-1 loss to Washington on Thursday night, lasting five innings and getting a no-decision despite allowing only a run and three hits with four walks and six strikeouts.
Chacin is 0-4 with a 5.81 ERA in five career games (four starts) against St. Louis, losing his only start at Busch Stadium in May 2013.
He will have to be careful with Cardinals right fielder Stephen Piscotty, who celebrated his return to the 25-man roster Tuesday night by belting his first homer since June 18. Piscotty is 4-for-7 in two games since returning to the club as its 26th man for the Sunday night Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa.
“If I’m just hitting the ball hard, I’m happy,” Piscotty said. “Lucky for me, hits are falling, so it’s been great to see it out of the gate.”