Cardinals lose 4th straight at home, 2-1 to Padres



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ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal was philosophical about the end of his 23-appearance scoreless streak on Friday night.

The string came to an end when Jedd Gyorko hit a run-scoring single in the ninth inning to give the San Diego Padres a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals.

"It's been a good run, but this is a tough spot to give up one," Rosenthal said. "We battled, we did what we could. It was a good game."

Rosenthal's streak ended at 22 2-3 innings. It was the second-longest streak in the NL behind Max Scherzer's 24-inning run. He last gave up a run on May 3 against Pittsburgh.

"I've just got to keep working at it, keeping pitching well, and things will fall back into place," Rosenthal said. "Get back on it."

Rosenthal and Gyorko battled through an eight-pitch at-bat before Gyorko lined a 3-2 single to left for the game-winning run.

"It was too much over the middle of the plate," Rosenthal said. "It was not a good pitch."

Rosenthal has closed out his last 15 save opportunities.

San Diego won the first two games of the four-game series after losing three straight.

"A win like this, tonight on the road, big," San Diego manager Pat Murphy said.

St. Louis lost a season-high fourth straight home game but the Cardinals are still a major league-best 29-11 at home.

Gyorko returned on Tuesday from a stint in Triple-A El Paso, his first minor league assignment since making the Opening Day roster in 2013. He hit .135 in April with the Padres.

"Getting to play every day down there and getting some steady at-bats helped a lot," Gyorko said. "I kind of got in tune with my swing the way it used to be."

Gyorko, who went 2 for 4, is 4 for 15 in the four games since being recalled.

Murphy says Gyorko returned a totally different player.

"He's way more confident," Murphy said. "He knows we believe in him and I'm excited about what he's doing. In his at-bats, seven or eight have been hard contact."

Joaquin Benoit (5-3) picked up the win in relief.

Craig Kimbrel recorded his 21st save in 22 opportunities. He got Jason Heyward to ground into a game-ending double play.

St. Louis starter Michael Wacha, in his first career appearance against the Padres, gave up one run and five hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked one.

"I felt like I had good fastball command," Wacha said. "I was just trying to fill up the strike zone and let the defense play behind me."

San Diego starter Andrew Cashner allowed one run and three hits in six innings.

"They're a good team, they grind it out," Cashner said. "We just haven't made a lot of mistakes since we've been here."

The Cardinals scored in the fifth inning on a double-play groundout by Xavier Scruggs. Heyward and Yadier Molina singled to start the rally. Randal Grichuk coaxed a nine-pitch walk after falling behind 0-2 to load the bases.

Justin Upton of the Padres broke an 0-for-17 skid with a single in the sixth. He promptly stole his 16th base in as many tries.

TRAINER'S ROOM:

Cardinals: OF Jon Jay was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to July 1 with a stress reaction in his left wrist. Jay was hitting .223 with one homer and 10 RBIs. He is on the DL for the second time this season with an earlier stint from May 14-28 with left wrist tendinitis.

Padres: INF Will Middlebrooks did not start for the fourth straight game after rolling his ankle Sunday against Arizona. Middlebrooks pinch hit on Tuesday and Thursday.

UP NEXT:

St. Louis RHP Carlos Martinez (9-3, 2.80) will face RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (3-6, 4.94) in the third game of the four-game set on Saturday. Martinez leads the Cardinals with 100 strikeouts. Despaigne has allowed eight earned runs over his last two starts covering 11 innings.

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