Giles had four hits and five RBIs Thursday night in San Diego’s 8-3 victory over the Cardinals. The Padres won at Busch Stadium for the first time since Aug. 28, 2001, despite hitting into the first triple play in the major leagues this season.
“The toughest thing is when you feel like you put good at-bats up there and don’t have anything to show for them,” Giles said. “Tonight, I had some good at-bats and I had some production with them.
“I was 0-for-something. It was a lot.”
Giles hit a three-run homer off Matt Morris in the fourth inning and was 4-for-5, including an eighth-inning single that drove in the go-ahead run.
“Whatever he was coming into here, didn’t matter,” Morris said. “I made a mistake in a bad spot.”
Chris Hammond (3-0) escaped a bases-loaded situation in the seventh to help the Padres earn a rare victory over the Cardinals anywhere. St. Louis is 43-9 against San Diego the last six seasons, and has won 19 of the last 22 at home.
“It’s been kind of embarrassing if you look back at our record here,” Giles said. “We wanted to make a statement.”
The Cardinals bailed out Morris in the second with their first triple play since Aug. 1, 2002, at Florida. Giles was on first and Phil Nevin was on second and both were running on a 1-0 pitch to Ramon Hernandez. He hit a line drive to Albert Pujols, who stepped on first and threw to second.
“That was one of the good innings,” manager Tony La Russa said. “We had a bunch of good innings, but we had two or three stinkers and they didn’t.”
A fielding error by second baseman Mark Grudzielanek on a potential inning-ending double-play ball by Phil Nevin preceded Giles’ fourth homer in the fourth, and a wild throw by reliever Ray King (0-1) gave Mark Loretta an extra base in the Padres’ two-run eighth.
King was ejected for arguing with plate umpire Mark Carlson, while he was being replaced, after Hernandez’s RBI single made it 5-3.
The Padres added three runs in the ninth on an RBI single by Jesse Garcia, a sacrifice fly by Nevin and an RBI single by Giles. Bill Pulsipher, activated from the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day, gave up two runs and three hits in the inning.
Pujols extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a double in the sixth. St. Louis’ 18-8 start before losing the opener of an eight-game homestand had been the franchise’s best since the 1948 team also started 18-8. The Cardinals were coming off a three-game sweep at Cincinnati.
Padres starter Brian Lawrence lasted 6 2-3 innings, giving up three runs and seven hits. A career .138 hitter entering the season, he singled off Morris’ foot in the third and walked in the fifth.
This was Lawrence’s first strong start on the road, where he had allowed 13 earned runs in five innings in two appearances.
“This was a big one for me,” Lawrence said. “I didn’t want to beat myself, I wanted them to beat me.”
Hammond kept the score tied in the seventh when Scott Rolen popped up with the bases loaded for the last out.
Grudzielanek’s second homer of the season led off the seventh and cut the deficit to 3-2. The Cardinals tied it later in the inning on two singles and a wild throw to first by Damian Jackson, the shortstop, on a potential inning-ending double play ball by Larry Walker.
Morris lasted seven innings and gave up three runs—two earned—and six hits. He struck out five and walked two in his fourth straight strong start since coming off the 15-day disabled list in mid-April following offseason shoulder surgery.
The last triple play in the majors was turned by Houston against Philadelphia on Aug. 19, 2004, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … Before the game, Pujols and his wife, Deidre, announced the launch of a charitable foundation, the Pujols Family Foundation. … Walker returned to the Cardinals’ lineup after missing three games with a groin injury and was 1-for-4 with a single and a walk.