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Cardinals crush five homers in win over Padres

Weaver throws five strong innings as St. Louis rolls
Special to MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- The Cardinals flexed their muscles against the Padres by slugging five home runs en route to a 9-5 win on Friday night.

"A number of guys hit the ball hard and a lot of good things happened,'' manager Mike Matheny said. "We've got a dangerous offense, we talk about it a lot and it was nice to see it show itself and that sets an expectation for what everyone is looking for.''

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SAN DIEGO -- The Cardinals flexed their muscles against the Padres by slugging five home runs en route to a 9-5 win on Friday night.

"A number of guys hit the ball hard and a lot of good things happened,'' manager Mike Matheny said. "We've got a dangerous offense, we talk about it a lot and it was nice to see it show itself and that sets an expectation for what everyone is looking for.''

View Full Game Coverage

St. Louis made Petco Park look small thanks to big flies by Paul DeJong, Harrison Bader, Marcell Ozuna and ex-Padre Jedd Gyorko in the second and third innings. DeJong had a career-high four RBIs.

Video: STL@SD: DeJong belts a 3-run homer to left-center

Tommy Pham got into the home run act in the sixth with a two-run shot as St. Louis battered Padres pitchers.

Video: STL@SD: Pham belts a 2-run homer to right field

For Gyorko, who had three hits, it was his eighth round-tripper in 12 games against San Diego in a rare rout for the Cardinals. Of their previous seven wins, six had been by a run.

"It's not like it was just me tonight, we had four or five homers and guys up and down the lineup were getting good at-bats,'' Gyorko said. "What it comes down to is if a guy makes a mistake you have to make him pay and tonight we swung the bats well.''

Matheny said it's not rare for a player to shine against the organization that traded him away.

"You would think players would go about it the same way all the time,'' he said. "But the team you come up with, it seems to happen a lot. Sometimes you hear a few boos and you take it to another level. But Jedd is a good hitter, so it could happen anytime, anywhere.''

Right-hander Luke Weaver (3-2) was the benefactor of the Cardinals' brawn as he pitched five scoreless innings, surrendering four hits and a walk. He beat the Padres for the second time in his two career starts as St. Louis remained atop the NL Central.

Video: STL@SD: Weaver strikes out Cordero in the 1st

Before the Padres batted in the third, Weaver was staked to a 6-0 cushion.

"It was hard to beat us tonight with us swinging at the plate,'' Weaver said. "It was a lot fun to watch and it's always fun to get some runs. It doesn't change your mentality. You just go out there and fill the [strike] zone as best as you can. You keep that momentum going with zeros to eliminate those big innings for them and just keep it on your side.''

Weaver would have liked to have extended his outing, but some early-inning command issues pushed his pitch count to 92 and that was enough for Matheny.

"I don't want to nitpick because he gave up four hits and no runs and we will take that all the time,'' he said. "I know he wanted to be in the zone a little bit more. But when he had to make a really good pitch, he made a really good pitch. He knows what he's doing. But let's be clear: It was a great outing and I know he would have liked to have gone longer.''

Video: STL@SD: Matheny on second straight win

Rookie left-hander Eric Lauer (1-2), who served up the first four homers, lasted 2 1/3 innings as he was charged with six runs on seven hits, with a walk, in his fourth career start.

"We just tried to be aggressive with him and get something out over the plate,'' Gyorko said. "We had an idea of what he liked to do, but up until today none of us had ever seen him. So just see how he's throwing and if he's making mistakes, try to make him pay."

The Cardinals tied a season high with 13 hits.

SOUND SMART
Gyorko, who is being paid $2.5 million by San Diego this year, continues to hurt his ex-club. The former San Diego infielder had three more hits on Friday, which makes him 21-for-40 with eight home runs and 19 RBIs in 12 games against the Padres. He set the record for a Padres second baseman with 23 home runs in 2013.

HE SAID IT
"You're not asking the right person for that. Don't mention it, though." -- Gyorko, when asked if the Padres have a deficient scouting report on him

UP NEXT
Right-hander Michael Wacha seeks his 50th career victory in Saturday's game against the Padres, with first pitch scheduled at 7:40 p.m. CT. The Cardinals have won in each of his past six starts dating to April 7 against the Diamondbacks. In his previous four starts, Wacha has held the opposition to two runs or less in each outing. Wacha, who is 3-0 lifetime against the Padres, will be opposed by right-hander Tyson Ross.

Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego.

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