Padres 5, Cardinals 4, 10 innings
SAN DIEGO (AP)—Miguel Ojeda finally fulfilled his dream.
Ojeda, 28, hammered a 3-2 changeup off Lance Painter an estimated 397 feet into the left-field stands for his first career game-winning home run.
“One of the greatest feelings you can have in baseball,” said Ojeda, who was a standout in the Mexican leagues. “I’ve done it before in Mexico, but it doesn’t compare to the feeling of doing it in the big leagues.”
While the Padres’ locker room was euphoric at beating St. Louis for just the fifth time in 34 games, dating back to 1999, the mood on the Cardinals’ side was subdued—and not just because of the loss.
St. Louis lost starter Matt Morris when he was hit on the right hand by a line drive in the first inning, bruising a knuckle on his index finger. X-rays of the knuckle were negative.
“He may have a fracture,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “I’m not optimistic until he gets checked out.”
La Russa said Morris will have the injury rechecked on Tuesday morning.
Morris then threw one warmup pitch over the head of catcher Mike Matheny, and promptly walked off the mound.
When Ojeda walked into the Padres clubhouse, he was greeted with a beer shower and by the sounds of his sister’s Mariachi band blaring out of the sound system.
“To hit a walkoff home run—what else can I ask?” said Ojeda, who hit his third homer of the season. “I came in here and just wanted to enjoy the moment. This is something I’ve only dreamed about before.”
Ojeda, who entered in the ninth as part of a double switch, is hitting .247 with 18 RBIs in 27 games. The catcher signed a minor league contract over the winter and had his contract purchased from the Mexico City Red Devils on May 17.
“I wanted to stay back and wait,” Ojeda said of his final at-bat. “He just threw me a changeup right down the middle.”
Jay Witasick (2-1) worked two perfect innings for the win.
Painter (0-1) got out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning when he retired Sean Burroughs on a ground out to end the threat.
“I made a bad pitch, it didn’t move,” Painter said of the homer. “It sat right over the middle of the plate. I didn’t want to walk him in that situation.”
“Those are games that can get you going on a roll,” Loretta said.
The Cardinals had a chance to open a big lead in the seventh, but twice failed to get a hit with the bases loaded.
Ryan Klesko drove in three of San Diego’s runs with a pair of doubles and a sacrifice fly.
The Cardinals went ahead 3-2 in the fourth on a throwing error by right fielder Xavier Nady.
Peavy walked Pujols and Edmonds to start the inning. After striking out Rolen, Martinez lined a single to right field with the runners moving.
Nady tried to throw out Edmonds at home, but his throw sailed into the St. Louis dugout, allowing Edmonds to score and Martinez to take third.
One out later, pinch-hitter Kerry Robinson’s infield single scored Martinezfor a 3-2 lead.
Morris matched his shortest out of the season. A rain delay and a tender right shoulder also abbreviated his start on June 14 at the New York Yankees. … CF Edmonds was back in the starting lineup after missing two of four games in the Cardinals’ last series because of a sore right shoulder. … RHP Linebrink ran all the way from the Padres’ bullpen to the infield to startthe seventh before he realized Peavy was coming out of the dugout to pitch.