Looking to rebound after being swept in a two game series against the last-place Chicago White Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals faced off against the San Diego Padres in the first game of a three game series at Busch Stadium.
But in the end, for the first time all year, the Cardinals lost their third home game in a row, falling 5-3 in 11 innings.
The starting pitchers for the game were Tim Cooney (0-0, 11.57) for the Cardinals, and Tyson Ross (5-7, 3.57) for the Padres.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Cardinals were able to get on the board first. After a strikeout by Kolten Wong, Matt Carpenter walked. Jhonny Peralta then hit a single, bringing up Jason Heyward, who also walked. Catcher Yadier Molina grounded out with the bases loaded, but scoring Carpenter in the process, making it 1-0 Cardinals.
San Diego tied the game in the top of the second as, after a fly out by Justin Upton, Yangervis Solarte hit a solo home run to make it 1-1.
After a scoreless third inning, the Padres struck again in the top of the fourth inning. A fielding error by Carpenter helped Upton reach second base to lead off. Solarte lined out to Peralta during the next at-bat. Jedd Gyorko then struck out, bringing up Aaron Hedges.
And with two outs, Hedges singled, scoring Upton from second, and making it a 2-1 Padres lead. After the Cardinals failed to try and tie it during the bottom of the fourth, San Diego once again added to their lead the following inning, when Ross actually hit his first career home run, to give the Padres a 3-1 lead.
Despite allowing the home run, Cooney struck out the side to get out of the inning.
St. Louis finally pulled it together at the plate during the bottom of the fifth inning. Cooney led off, getting his first career hit by doubling to left field. Cooney advanced to third after a Wong groundout. A single by Carpenter then scored Cooney to make it 3-2. After a Peralta strikeout, Heyward doubled, scoring Carpenter to tie the game at 3-3.
Miguel Socolovich was brought into the game during the top of the seventh in relief of Cooney. His final line for the game: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. It was a vast improvement from his previous start, in which he only lasted 2.1 innings.
As for the Padres, Ross also was taken out during the seventh inning, and Brandon Maurer entered the game to take his place. Much like Socolovich in the top of the inning, Maurer threw a shutout.
Socolovich continued to pitch well into the eighth inning, but Randy Choate was brought in during a two on, two out situation, during which Choate was able to get the final out and end the threat.
Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal entered the game to pitch the top of the ninth inning, with the game still tied 3-3. And Rosenthal shut down the Padres while the radar gun neared 100 mph with each fastball, as the game headed to the bottom of the ninth.
When the Cardinals could not capitalize on a potential walk-off in the bottom of the ninth, the game headed to extra innings.
In the top of the 11th inning, after a ground-rule double by Clint Barnes, Will Venable hit a two-run home run to give the Padres a 5-3 lead, and in the bottom of the inning, St. Louis could not tie nor win, and instead fell to the Padres in the series opener.
The Cardinals fall to 51-27, as the Padres improve to 38-43. Carlos Villanueva drops to 3-3 on the year.
Tomorrow, Michael Wacha will get the start on the mound.
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)