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Gyorko Show: Ex-Padre carries Cardinals

July 20, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- Since he was traded in December, Jedd Gyorko has done nothing but rake against his former team, and his mastery of the Padres continued on Wednesday.The Cardinals third baseman launched a pair of homers and drove in all three runs in a 3-2 victory over San Diego,

ST. LOUIS -- Since he was traded in December, Jedd Gyorko has done nothing but rake against his former team, and his mastery of the Padres continued on Wednesday.
The Cardinals third baseman launched a pair of homers and drove in all three runs in a 3-2 victory over San Diego, as St. Louis completed a doubleheader sweep. Gyorko, who also homered in Game 1, has now gone deep in five straight games against the Padres -- joining an elite group consisting of Barry Bonds, Chipper Jones, Sammy Sosa and Albert Pujols.
"The kind of tear he's on, not many people do something like that," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It does make it a little sweeter when it's a team that you've been on before, for whatever reason."
Gyorko homers in 5th straight meeting with Padres
Matt Kemp and Ryan Schimpf went yard for San Diego, and the Padres have now homered in a franchise-record 18 consecutive games. They're the first National League team to do so since the Reds in 2010.
But the Friars were otherwise held in check by Jaime García, who allowed one run on six hits over 5 2/3 innings, as the Cardinals won both games of a twin bill for the first time since 2013. Seunghwan Oh became the first St. Louis closer since Jason Isringhausen in 2004 to record a save in both games of a doubleheader.
"Anytime you can take a couple wins in a day, it's hard to do that," Matheny said. "Doubleheaders are really hard to pull off, and we had some young guys do some special things there."
Martinez, trio of HRs lead Cards in Game 1
The Padres were swept for the first time since 1999 -- also the last time they faced St. Louis in a twin bill. Making his first start for the Padres, Paul Clemens was relatively sharp -- aside from two mistakes to Gyorko. Clemens, who was claimed off waivers from Miami at the end of June, struck out five in five innings. He recorded all of his punchouts via the curveball -- a pitch the Padres have encouraged him to throw more. And he was hurt when he grooved a pair of fastballs that Gyorko didn't miss.

"More of a businessman and not a fighter," Clemens said. "Sometimes I want to blow my chest out and just come right after guys. That feels good to a man, to be able to challenge people and hold my own out there. But business-wise, it's not a good pitch."
Baserunning blunder: Garcia got himself into a jam in the fifth inning with runners on first and third with one out. He struck out Clemens before Travis Jankowski bunted back to the mound. Garcia fielded the ball and threw home to Alberto Rosario, who tagged out Adam Rosales at the plate to preserve the Cardinals' 1-0 lead.
"That's a game changer," Matheny said. "Just the wherewithal for a lefty to go over there, get on top and make a pick, 'Rosie' made a nice play at the plate."

Going streaking: Not only did Kemp's blast extend the Padres' home-run streak, it marked his fourth straight game with a dinger. Kemp is only the ninth Padre in history to go deep four games in a row. The club's all-time record is six games, set by Graig Nettles in 1984.
"It's Matt Kemp being Matt Kemp," Padres manager Andy Green said. "Home runs come in bunches for everybody. I think home run hitters are always like that. … And he's one of the more prolific home run hitters in the league. He's finding that groove again, so it's fun to see."

One-run winner: The Cardinals improved to 8-17 in one-run games. It marked their first such victory since July 3 and second since June 21.
"We have a good bullpen," Matheny said. "They know they can get the job done, and to them, this is what it should look like."

An encore for Schimpf: Like Gyorko, Schimpf also went deep in both games of Wednesday's doubleheader, making him the first Padres hitter to do so since Ruben Rivera in a 1999 twin bill against the Rockies. Schimpf has homered seven times in 75 at-bats since being called up in June. More >

"We didn't throw any changeups. That tells me a lot. I made two pitches, get through 15 outs of Major League Baseball, against a club that can play the game. I didn't even use my changeup. I've got plenty of weapons. It's just about being smarter, being more conscious of situations and not just always reverting to challenging people and trying to throw 95 by everybody. That doesn't work out here. Triple-A you get away with it. Double-A, my whole Minor League career, I got away with it. Here I don't get away with it." -- Clemens
Injured Padres center fielder Jon Jay received a nice ovation from the St. Louis fans after he presented the lineup card at home plate before the game. Jay spent six seasons with the Cardinals and was a member of the 2011 World Series champion team, before being dealt for Gyorko in the offseason. Jay is more than a week away from having a cast removed from his right forearm.

Padres: Amid plenty of trade speculation, right-hander Andrew Cashner takes the hill in St. Louis, with first pitch slated for 4:15 p.m. PT. Cashner is coming off one of his best starts this season, in which he struck out nine Giants and allowed four hits over six frames.
Cardinals:Adam Wainwright takes the mound in the finale of a four-game series and the seven-game season series with the Padres. The Cardinals' ace is coming off his best start of the season, a three-hit shutout of the Marlins on Saturday. He has a 0.39 ERA in 23 innings over his last three outings. First pitch is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. CT.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Nick Krueger is a reporter for based in St. Louis and covered the Cardinals on Wednesday.