The San Diego Padres broke through for four runs in the eighth inning Saturday, downing the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 at Busch Stadium.
It’s the second straight loss in as many games for the Cardinals in their home ballpark.
St. Louis carried a 3-2 lead into the eighth and handed the ball to Andrew Miller, the veteran reliever signed in the offseason.
Miller (0-1) walked Fernando Tatis, Junior, then lost the lead on one pitch as catcher Austin Hedges hit a ball over the wall in left center to give the Padres a 4-3 advantage.
With one out, Miller walked Ian Kinsler after first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was charged with an error for failing to catch a popup in foul ground.
The lefty retired Eric Hosmer on a fly ball to left before getting burned by new Padres third baseman Manny Machado, who lined a ball just over the wall in left for a two run homer that made it a 6-3 game.
“I feel good. I feel confident coming into games. I’m just not getting it done,” Miller said. “Nobody feels worse about that than me. My expectations for myself are incredibly high. I’m not doing it right now. It’s a fine line between getting guys to swing at pitches and not. They lay off some good ones and put me in trouble. They got a couple of big hits. I’ve got to do better.”
St. Louis Manager Mike Schildt says there are a couple pitches Miller would no doubt like to have back. “It looks like he’s making good pitches, just not making enough of them. Some pitches not having enough finish at the end. I know he’s working at it for sure.”
Tyler O’Neill drove in a run on an infield single in the bottom of the eighth to bring St. Louis within two runs, but San Diego closer Kirby Yates nailed down his fifth save, allowing only a two out single by Yadier Molina in the ninth.
St. Louis starter Michael Wacha allowed only one run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings, but walked eight hitters while striking out seven.
Leftfielder Marcell Ozuna gave the Cardinals a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, clubbing a 455 foot shot into Big Mac Land in left field, his first home run of 2019.
Eric Hosmer brought San Diego within a run in the seventh inning when he went deep off Cards reliever John Gant.
San Diego’s Matt Wisler (1-0) pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh inning to get the win.
The Cardinals, who drop to 3-5 on the season, will try to avoid the sweep when they send Adam Wainwright (0-0, 9.00 ERA) to the mound Sunday afternoon.
He’ll be opposed by San Diego’s Matt Strahm (0-1, 16.88 ERA).
First pitch is set for 1:15 p.m.
The eight walks allowed by Wacha are a career high. The last Cardinals pitcher to walk eight in a game was Carlos Martinez in New York against the Yankees on 4-15-17.
Molina’s single in the bottom of the second inning tied him with Curt Flood for ninth place on the franchise’s all time hit list with 1,853.
The Cardinals have lost by two runs or less in all five losses this season.
St. Louis has homered in five straight games, hitting nine long balls in that span.