The Cardinals look to keep up their mastery of the Padres as the teams meet in the middle game of their weekend series at Busch Stadium.
St. Louis won for just the fourth time in its last 12 games with Friday’s 4-2 victory over San Diego in the opening game of the set. However, the Cardinals have won 27 of the last 31 meetings against the Padres dating to the start of the 1999 season.
Woody Williams pitched eight strong innings, retiring the first 16 batters before allowing a baserunner, and hit a sacrifice fly for the Cardinals. Rookie Bo Hart was 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Edgar Renteria finished 3-for-3 with a homer.
Renteria, the NL’s starting shortstop in Tuesday’s All-Star game, is hitting .474 (9-for-19) over his last five games. He has an NL-leading 39th multihit game.
The Padres lost for only the fourth time in 13 games.
Mark Kotsay hit a two-run homer in the sixth for the Padres’ first hit against Williams. The center fielder is batting .300 (15-for-50) over his last 11 games with nine RBIs and eight runs scored.
STANDINGS: Padres - 5th place, 21 1/2 GB, NL West. Cardinals - 2nd place, 2 GB, NL Central.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Oliver Perez (3-3, 5.01 ERA). Perez is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA since begin recalled from Triple-A Portland on June 15. The 21-year-old left-hander, who was 1-4 with an 8.23 ERA in six starts before the demotion, yielded just one run and five hits over eight innings of Monday’s 7-1 win over Los Angeles. He also matched a season high with eight strikeouts. Perez dropped his lone career start against St. Louis, surrendering seven runs and nine hits over six innings of a 7-3 loss on July 1, 2002.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Garrett Stephenson (4-9, 4.30 ERA). Stephenson is 0-4 with a 4.50 ERA in his last four starts. He hasn’t won since a 12-3 victory over Milwaukee on June 17. The right-hander was reached for three runs and six hits over six innings of Monday’s 5-1 loss to San Francisco. Stephenson is 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA in one career start against San Diego.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Padres - Mark Loretta, .314 avg.; Ryan Klesko, 19 HRs; Klesko and Rondell White, 52 RBIs; Loretta and White, 41 runs; Gary Matthews Jr., Ramon Vazquez and Shane Victorino, 7 SBs. Cardinals - Albert Pujols, .364 avg., 82 RBIs and 79 runs; Jim Edmonds, 28 HRs; Renteria, 23 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Cardinals, 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Padres - The Padres have dropped 13 of the last 15 at Busch Stadium. … 2B Loretta was 0-for-4 Friday, ending a 10-game hitting streak in which he was hitting .477 (21-for-44). … 3B Sean Burroughs singled in the ninth Friday to reach base for the 15th straight game. He is batting .370 (20-for-54) during the streak. Cardinals - St. Louis is 1-5 in a stretch in which it plays 14 straight against the NL West. … OF Edmonds hit his 28th homer Friday, tying the major league lead, to extend his hitting streak to nine games. He is hitting .294 (10-for-34) during the run. … 2B Hart, called up to replaced injured 2B Fernando Vina on June 19, is batting .381 (37-for-97) over his last 22 games in the majors.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Padres - 17-30 on the road; Cardinals - 27-20 at home.
INJURIES: Padres - INF Keith Lockhart (back), 15-day DL; OF Jason Bay (wrist), 15-day DL; OF Phil Nevin (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Trevor Hoffman (shoulder), 60-day DL. Cardinals - C Joe Girardi (back), 15-day DL; C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; INF Miguel Cairo (hand), 15-day DL; 2B Vina (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Eli Marrero (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Russ Springer (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Kiko Calero (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL.