Weaver helps pitch Cardinals to 6-2 win over Padres
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[August 24, 2017]
ST. LOUIS -- With their pitching
staff beat up, banged up and lit up, the St. Louis Cardinals
desperately needed a quality start.
Luke Weaver did that and more Wednesday night, snapping an
ignominious streak and giving their flagging playoff hopes at least
a temporary boost.
Weaver tied a career high with 10 strikeouts in seven shutout
innings, lifting St. Louis to a 6-2 decision over the San Diego
Padres at Busch Stadium.
In upping his record to 2-1, Weaver allowed three hits and a walk,
throwing 69 of his 99 pitches for strikes. He gave the Cardinals
(64-62) their third win in nine games and snapped a 12-game streak
in which they had allowed at least five runs -- one shy of the
"I guess it was important," Weaver said of his outing. "It helps
when the command is there. I just told myself to trust my pitch. I
got through the first (inning) and slowed things down, pitched with
a little grit."
A fastball clocked at times at 96 mph didn't hurt, either. Nor did
effective secondary pitches that occasionally fetched outs. Weaver
retired 10 of the first 11 men he faced.
When San Diego (56-70) pieced together its one real threat against
Weaver, loading the bases with two outs in the fourth, he reared and
fired a 96 mph heater at Jabari Blash. A late swing meant an
"He had everything," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "He had a
good fastball, changeup, breaking ball. He was able to make pitches
late in the count. We needed it."
While Weaver delivered a shutdown outing, second baseman Kolten Wong
sparked the offense. Wong, moved up to the leadoff spot with first
baseman Matt Carpenter (virus) missing the game, went 3-for-5 with
three runs and two steals -- making him 11-for-26 in the last six
games and improving his average to .314.
"Just understanding what kind of hitter I am," he said when asked
about his performance. "I have to hit it in the gaps and run. That
works for me. I'm not trying to do too much."
Wong led off the game with a double down the right-field line. Tommy
Pham doubled to left field two pitches later. Dexter Fowler's deep
fly ball to left with one out scored Pham easily from third for a
quick 2-0 lead against Jhoulys Chacin (11-9).
Things got no better for Chacin, who after a clean second inning
suddenly lost all of his command. He plunked two batters in the
third, leading to Jedd Gyorko's two-out RBI infield hit.
An inning later, Chacin followed a two-out walk to Pham with a bad
pickoff throw that skipped past first base for an error. Greg Garcia
trotted home from third for a 4-0 margin.
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Cardinals starting pitcher Luke Weaver (62) pitches during the first
inning against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium. Mandatory
Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Chacin hit two batters and walked two others in the
fifth, mixing in a wild pitch that plated Fowler. Chacin's final
line was 4 2/3 innings, six hits, five runs, three walks and three
He also hit four batters, tying a modern MLB record last set by the
Chicago Cubs' John Lackey last month. Cardinal batters were plunked
a franchise-record five times.
"Just a bad day," Chacin said. "That was really weird for me. My
ball was moving like crazy, especially to the righties. I just
(couldn't get a good) grip on the ball."
Gyorko's two-out RBI single in the eighth finished the St. Louis
scoring. It plated Wong, who singled and then stole second and third
on consecutive pitches.
Manuel Margot tripled home a run in the eighth for the Padres, while
Cory Spangenberg tacked on a solo homer in the ninth, his 13th homer
of the season.
The Cardinals stayed 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs
in the National League Central but moved within 4 1/2 of Arizona and
Colorado for the NL wild-card spots after both lost Wednesday.
NOTES: St. Louis RHP Trevor Rosenthal (right elbow) will undergo
Tommy John surgery next week. He was transferred to the 60-day
disabled list Wednesday. Rosenthal, who suffered the injury Aug. 16
in Boston, went 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and 11 saves this year. ... LHP
MacKenzie Gore, San Diego's first-round pick in June's draft,
suffered his first pro loss Tuesday night in the Arizona Rookie
League. But Gore has allowed only two runs in 20 innings, walking
four and fanning 31. ... The Cardinals purchased the contract of LHP
Ryan Sherriff from Triple-A Memphis and optioned RHP Josh Lucas to
Memphis. Sherriff went 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA in 48 relief appearances
for the Redbirds.
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