SAN DIEGO — It took an error to get things going, a replay to keep things tied, and first base uncovered by a Padre to keep the inning alive. So of course the hit that would animate the Cardinals came from an unlikely source doing damage from an unlikely side of the plate.
Matt Wieters clobbered a two-out, two-run homer to the third deck on Petco Park's signature Western Metal Supply Co. building to send the Cardinals to a 5-3 victory in the 11th inning Sunday.
Wieters had been hitless in 19 at-bats this season against lefthanded pitchers before connecting against Padres reliever Brad Wieck.
Kolten Wong was on base for the homer only because the Padres didn't have anyone covering first base when he was able to outrun his slow roller near the first base line.
The Cardinals scored five unanswered runs to avoid their sixth consecutive loss. One of the runs scored on an error. Two of the runs came on a two-out strike by Yairo Munoz. And the lone reason the Padres didn't score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning was because a replay overturned the safe call at first that would have allowed the Padres to take a 4-3 lead.
Carlos Martinez struck out the side in order in the ninth inning to send the tie game to extra innings. Martinez's final pitch was a 99-mph fastball past rookie shortstop sensation Fernando Tatis Jr.
Martinez got the win. Dominic Leone got the final two outs of the 11th inning for the save, his first since returning from Class AAA.
It took a little help from the Padres to spur the Cardinals toward the tying run. Paul Goldschmidt clipped an infield single and took second on Manny Machado's error. When Tyler O'Neill lined a single to right field it was hard enough to get Goldschmidt to third base -- but no farther.
Until right fielder Franmil Reyes couldn't glove it.
The ball went off the tip of Reyes' glove, and that miscue -- ruled an error -- allowed Goldschmidt to cruise home for a 3-3 game.
The Cardinals rallied from a 3-0 deficit by doing what they had so rarely done in the past week. No, not just scoring. But delivering with runners in scoring position. The Cardinals' position players had gone 24 consecutive at-bats without an RBI with a runner in scoring position, and that lull stretched all the way back to the second inning Tuesday. The one hit they did have in that stretch -- yes, they were one-for-24 -- was an infield single that didn't produce a run.
The only runs produced with runners in scoring position over the previous three games was by pitchers.
Yairo Munoz ended the streak in the sixth inning when he connected for a two-out, two-run single up the middle. He brought home with one swing as many runs or more runs than the Cardinals had scored in any of the previous two games of the series. Munoz's single also rescued the Cardinals who loaded the bases with one out and were on the brink of getting nada from that opportunity. O'Neill struck out with the bases loaded to put the inning in jeopardy.
The Padres built a 3-0 lead against Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas by the end of the fifth inning. They started early. The second batter of their first inning, Eric Hosmer, poked a double to left field. Machado drilled a pitch for a two-run homer that traveled an estimated 406 feet into the left-field seats. The shot was Machado's third homer in two games.
He became the third Padre with at least 20 homers this season.
In the fifth inning, Hosmer pulled a single to right field for an RBI that nudged the Padres, 3-0. That RBI single was Hosmer's third hit fo the game -- but his first that justified the shift that the Cardinals placed on him. In his previous two at-bats, wth the Cardinals scrunching infielders to the right side, Hosmer went to left for base hits.
DeJong chosen to represent Cardinals in Cleveland as their lone All-Star
With scarce support in the fan vote, the player who would represent the Cardinals in the annual All-Star Game next week in Cleveland was up to either his peers or the commissioner's office.
The Cardinals, by rule, were guaranteed one.
On Sunday the Cardinals, by gum, only expected to have one.
Paul DeJong, the team's starting shortstop, was selected as a reserve for the National League All-Star team. He has been one of the league leaders all season in Wins Above Replacement because of the blend of offense and defense he brings to a premium position. He and Colorado's Trevor Story were the reserve shortstops selected. Cubs shortstop Javy Baez was elected as the starter at the position.
DeJong, 25, has hit .261 with a .347 on-base percentage and a .462 slugging percentage. His 13 home runs are the fifth-most in the NL for a everyday shortstop, and his 36 RBIs are the eighth-most at the position in the league. DeJong has also scored 52 runs -- the fourth-most in the league.
This is DeJong's first All-Star selection.
Outfielder Marcell Ozuna was also a candidate for selection, and he had expressed interest in participating in the Home Run Derby. That possibility ended Friday when he fractured several small bones in his right hand as he dove back into first base to avoid a pickoff attempt.
The All-Star Game is July 9 in Cleveland.
The Cardinals had two players selected to the game in Washington, D.C. last year. DeJong continues a recent run of shortstops representing the Cardinals, as Aledmys Diaz did in 2016 at San Diego and Jhonny Peralta in Cincinnati in 2015, when he was the most recent Cardinal elected as a starter by the fans.
Major League Baseball had to make the selections for two NL teams to assure they were represented at the Midsummer Classic. Neither had a player voted on by the fans or by their peers. The two teams were the Marlins and Cardinals, and the player picked for the Marlins was former Cardinals' farmhand Sandy Alcantara.
He was sent to Miami in the Ozuna trade before the 2018 season.
Carpenter scratched (stomach illness), so Cardinals turn hard right vs. Padres
The plan was to bring Matt Carpenter back to the lineup Sunday, after the team's usual leadoff hitter and third baseman had a good three-game break and four days away from the lineup.
His stomach had other plans.
That's given the Cardinals the go ahead to be all right.
Carpenter was a scratch from the lineup Sunday at Petco Park because of a stomach illness that arrived Saturday night, manager Mike Shildt said. He had planned for Carpenter to start that day against Padres lefty Joey Lucchesi. Carpenter's illness meant Shildt could pivot -- to the right. Yairo Munoz comes off the bench and starts at third, bumping leadoff hitter and switch-hitter Tommy Edman to second base. Every member of the Cardinals' starting lineup is either a righthanded batter or a switch-hitter.
This season lefthanded batters are hitting .214 and slugging .314 against the Padres lefty, and he's struck out 22 in 70 at-bats.
The Cardinals' search for a cleanup hitter lands again on Paul Goldschmidt, though the designated hitter in the coming days at Seattle will give Shildt license to juggle a few more pieces with the extra bat.
The Cardinals expect to have one player selected for the All-Star Game later this afternoon, when that announcement becomes official. Outfielder Marcell Ozuna was a leading candidate for that pick before going in the injured list Saturday with a fractured finger. The Cardinals other candidates for selection are likely shortstop Paul DeJong or reliever John Gant.
For either it would be their first All-Star selection.
This blog will be updated with that announcement, during the game.
Here is the lineup backing Miles Mikolas as the Cardinals look to stem a five-game losing streak and sneak out of San Diego with one win:
1. Tommy Edman, 2B
2. Jose Martinez, RF
3. Paul DeJong, SS
4. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
5. Tyler O'Neill, LF
6. Yairo Munoz, 3B
7. Harrison Bader, CF
8. Matt Wieters, C
9. Miles Mikolas, P
This article will be updated throughout the afternoon here at C-Beat and StlToday.com with any news, notes, quotes, or anecdotes that surface at Petco Park.