MLB

Westbrook solid as Cardinals beat Padres

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The Canadian Press
7/19/2013 11:25:17 PM
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ST. LOUIS -- Jake Westbrook did a little bit of everything Friday night against the San Diego Padres.

A career .116 hitter, Westbrook recorded the first multihit game of his career with two singles and a double. He picked off a runner in the fifth inning. Perhaps most importantly, the St. Louis starter lasted 6 1-3 innings and allowed just two runs, eight hits and four walks in the Cardinals' 9-6 victory.

"Overall, it went well," Westbrook said. "It was a good start to the second half."

The right-hander, who scored twice and had an RBI, surpassed his hit output for the year and raised his batting from .100 to .217.

"I ran into a few, I guess," Westbrook said. "It's the first time I ran the bases that much since high school."

Westbrook has usually resembled a pitcher who spent most of his career in the American League without swinging a bat. Westbrook came to the Cardinals after breaking in with the New York Yankees and then spending nine seasons in Cleveland.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny appreciated the offensive outburst.

"The hits, we'll always take them," Matheny said. "They started two rallies and a big RBI in another (inning).

"These guys, they take their at-bats seriously. They put a lot of pride in them. It's frustrating to them. They don't get enough repetitions to consistently be able to do what they want to do. They go working hard and some time it pays off like tonight."

After rookie Carlos Martinez allowed three runs in the ninth to make it a three-run game, All-Star Edward Mujica got the last two outs to record his 27th save in 29 chances.

Fellow All-Star Matt Carpenter continued his strong season with three hits and three RBIs.

"I'm just trying to have good at-bats, play good defence and do whatever I can to get on base," Carpenter said.

Two other St. Louis All-Stars, Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina, each drove in two runs, Beltran contributing two sacrifice flies and Molina a two-run double in the seventh.

St. Louis reached a season-best 22 games over .500 (58-36) and owns the best winning percentage in the majors (.617).

The Padres' lone All-Star representative, Everth Cabrera, drove in two runs with a two-run single off Westbrook in the seventh. San Diego, which lost 18 of 22 to conclude the first half, fell to 15-32 on the road and 74-149 in St. Louis (6-19 at new Busch Stadium).

"We got 13 hits and we put some stress on them," manager Bud Black said. "We forced them to bring in their closer and we started hitting the ball with some authority."

Former Cardinal Jason Marquis (9-5) lost his third straight. Marquis, who has not won since beating Arizona 6-4 on June 15, was touched for six runs on eight hits and three walks.

Marquis blanked the Cardinals the first two innings before Westbrook led off the third with a single to centre. He later scored on Beltran's sacrifice fly to centre.

Two innings later, Westbrook started another rally when he doubled over right fielder Will Venable's head to begin the fifth. Carpenter followed with an RBI double to the gap in left centre and he scored on Beltran's sacrifice fly one out later that made it 3-0.

The Cardinals broke it open and chased Marquis by scoring three times in the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, Westbrook coaxed a single through the middle to drive in Matt Adams. Carpenter then drove home two more with an RBI single to centre.

Notes: Edinson Volquez (6-8), who set a new career high by making 20 starts in the first half, pitches his first game in the second half when he faces the Cardinals' Lance Lynn (11-4) Saturday night. . . . San Diego started a 10-day, 10-game road trip Friday. The Padres were 1-9 on their last 10-game trip. . . . Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday missed his fourth straight game due to a lingering right hamstring issue. . . . Padres outfielder Jedd Gyorko was 0-for-12 since coming off the DL before singling in the fourth. . . . Molina's double in the seventh was his 28th, matching his output last year.

Jake Westbrook (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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