(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
What a day for Jeremy Hazelbaker and Aledmys Diaz.
The two rookies, who have unexpectedly made a huge impact on the Cardinals’ big league roster this season thus far, combined for six hits and five RBI’s on Saturday night as St. Louis defeated the San Diego Padres by the score of 11-2 at Petco Park.
With his 5-5 night, which included two doubles, Diaz raised his average to .467 on the season.
“I had a very good day at the plate and helped my team to win,” said Diaz, the who became the Cardinals rookie with five hits in a game since Wally Moon back in 1954.
But the rookies weren’t the only ones having their fun in an 11-run, 16-hit night. Former Padres’ player Jedd Gyorko, who has been booed multiple times so far in his return to San Diego, belted a three-run home run off of Carlos Villanueva in the eighth inning.
“We’re out here trying to win games,” he said. “Just because it happened to be against the Padres doesn’t mean it’s a super pleasure or anything added to it. It’s just another game for us. We’re trying to go out there and win games and we played pretty well tonight.”
Michael Wacha (1-0, 2.76) got the start for St. Louis, while Cesar Vargas (0-0, N/A) got the start for the Padres.
Along with three bullpen pitchers, Wacha helped contribute to holding the Padres to a mere four hits on the evening. He did allow two runs in six innings and did not strike out a batter, but it was a solid outing from him nonetheless.
“Their guys were taking some good at-bats against me and they had a great approach out there, but guys were making great plays behind me, and that’s how I wanted it to be,” Wacha said.
Vargas had a good big league debut as well, his only blemish being a solo home run hit by Stephen Piscotty to tie the game in the sixth inning.
“I thought he was really good.” manager Andy Green said. “As he went deeper into the game he kind of settled in better and better for the fourth and fifth innings,” Green said. “For the first inning he was a little jumpy, the first few pitches. After that he kind of settled right down. Couldn’t ask for more from him, coming up and doing that.”
On Sunday, San Diego native Mike Leake will try to earn his first win as a Cardinals pitcher, facing off against Colin Rea, who has a record of 1-1.
The game starts at 3:40 CST.