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Solarte, bats carry Padres past Cardinals

MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' three home runs weren't enough to outmuscle Yangervis Solarte, whose career-high six-RBI game paced a breakout night for the Padres' offense in a 12-4 victory that spoiled the start of St. Louis' six-game homestand on Tuesday. It marked just the third time this year that San Diego had put up double-digit runs in a game.

The Cardinals twice clawed back to tie the game, first with back-to-back homers from Jedd Gyorko and Stephen Piscotty, and later with Yadier Molina's 15th blast of the season. But the Padres took advantage of an unsettled Cardinals bullpen to post a six-run seventh that was bookended by Jose Pirela's go-ahead, RBI single and Austin Hedges' three-run blast.

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ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' three home runs weren't enough to outmuscle Yangervis Solarte, whose career-high six-RBI game paced a breakout night for the Padres' offense in a 12-4 victory that spoiled the start of St. Louis' six-game homestand on Tuesday. It marked just the third time this year that San Diego had put up double-digit runs in a game.

The Cardinals twice clawed back to tie the game, first with back-to-back homers from Jedd Gyorko and Stephen Piscotty, and later with Yadier Molina's 15th blast of the season. But the Padres took advantage of an unsettled Cardinals bullpen to post a six-run seventh that was bookended by Jose Pirela's go-ahead, RBI single and Austin Hedges' three-run blast.

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The loss cost the Cardinals ground in the National League Central, where they now trail the Cubs by 4 1/2 games. The second-place Brewers are two games ahead of the Cardinals.

Video: SD@STL: Molina drills a solo homer to left-center

Since losing closer Trevor Rosenthal to injury last week, the Cardinals' bullpen has allowed 17 earned runs in 20 innings.

"We have no defined roles at this particular point," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Guys are going to have to pitch their way through and get outs. It's just going to be that way until it's very clear what we need to do."

San Diego's early offense was supplied by Solarte, who cleared the bases with a third-inning double and added an RBI double to push the Padres back in front, 4-3, in the fifth. Solarte then punctuated his evening with a two-run homer that traveled a Statcast-estimated 455 feet. His was the first six-RBI game for the Padres since Hunter Renfroe drove in seven in a Sept. 27, 2016, win against the Dodgers.

Video: SD@STL: Padres plate six runs in the 7th inning

"We fought and we battled and we had good at-bats," Solarte said. "There was a lot of energy. That's the biggest thing. We can finish strong if we can do that, play with that type of emotion going forward. That's what I want for us -- to end that way, end with that strength, end playing like that."

Solarte drove in all four runs allowed by Cardinals starter Lance Lynn in his six-inning start. Padres starter Clayton Richard also allowed four runs before exiting after 5 2/3 innings.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Super Solarte: Rarely one to lose his command, Lynn put himself in a third-inning pickle by hitting a pair of Padres batters. That, along with a Manuel Margot single, loaded the bases for Solarte, who entered the night hitting .317 with runners in scoring position. Solarte promptly laced a double to right-center to put the Padres ahead, 3-0. It was Solarte's first bases-loaded hit of the season.

"He had a good night, the best night he's ever had on me in his career," said Lynn, who had held Solarte to 1-for-9 previously. "I don't know what the reason was. I threw a couple good pitches that, in the past, he didn't hit. With runners on, he took good at-bats, better than he's ever had. Maybe next time it'll be in my favor." More >>

Video: SD@STL: Solarte drills a bases-clearing double

Austin Power: After falling behind, 0-2, Matt Szczur gave the Padres a three-run lead in the seventh with a pinch-hit two-run single. Hedges would promptly double that advantage. He turned around a 1-2 fastball from Cardinals reliever Zach Duke for his 16th home run. In doing so, Hedges crept closer to Mike Piazza's franchise record for home runs by a catcher. Piazza hit 22 in 2006.

Video: SD@STL: Hedges lifts a three-run homer to left field

QUOTABLE
"A lot of times what's missed in a game like today: [Carlos] Asuaje had a [13]-pitch battle at-bat that makes Lance Lynn really work, and then he gives up the pitch to Solarte that gets the double in the gap that clears the bases. Those kind of at-bats, at the end of the day, they don't get rewarded in the box score. But it changes the trajectory of the game." -- Padres manager Andy Green on Asuaje's 13-pitch strikeout amid the third-inning rally

"Pitching wins championships, so we need to be better." -- Lynn, on a Cardinals' pitching staff that has allowed five or more runs in 12 consecutive games, the third longest such streak in franchise history

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Gyorko continues to haunt the Padres, who dealt him to St. Louis for Jon Jay in Dec. 2015. In eight games against his former team, Gyorko has hit seven home runs and tallied 13 RBIs.

WHAT'S NEXT
Padres: In his last two starts, Jhoulys Chacin has held the Dodgers and Nationals -- record-wise, the two best teams in the NL -- to one run apiece. He takes the ball Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. PT for the second game of a three-game set in St. Louis.

Cardinals: Luke Weaver, who is stepping into the rotation for an injured Adam Wainwright, will start for St. Louis in Wednesday's 7:15 p.m. CT game. Weaver allowed two earned runs over 6 1/3 innings in his last spot start for the Cardinals. He has never faced the Padres.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.