SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Everyone thought Bubba Trammell's fly ball to center field was going out for a grand slam.
Although the ball plopped off the fence for a double, it did the
next-best thing by clearing the bases and helping the San Diego
Padres beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Friday night.
Trammell's double tied the game in the seventh inning, and Ryan
Klesko singled in the winning run in the eighth.
The Padres, last in the NL West, ended an eight-game losing
streak to NL Central-leading Cardinals dating to 2000, and a
10-game home skid against St. Louis dating to 1999.
"That's a good win for us because that's one of the hottest
teams in baseball,'' said Mark Sweeney, who started the eighth with
a pinch-hit single.
"Bubba's hit was so big because it's one of those things that's
almost a shock to you because we really haven't had too many of
them,'' Sweeney said. "Not from him, but just from everybody.
Getting a good comeback win, that can change a lot of things
St. Louis right-hander Jason Simontacchi took a two-hit shutout
into the seventh, hoping to beat the Padres in consecutive starts.
Simontacchi allowed consecutive singles by Mark Kotsay and
Klesko to open the seventh, struck out Phil Nevin and then walked
Ron Gant to load the bases. Trammell lofted a drive to center
field, with the ball bouncing off the fence just out of the reach
of Jim Edmonds.
Gant raced all the way around from first, sliding headfirst to
score just ahead of the relay throw.
"That's absolutely all I've got. I couldn't believe it stayed
in the ballpark,'' said Trammell, hitting just .223 coming in.
"I got a pitch to hit, and I'm sure he threw it where he didn't
want to throw it. A lot of times, I've been missing that pitch.
Tonight I didn't, and hopefully I'll continue in the second half.''
Simontacchi said he tried to come inside with a fastball but
left it over the outer half.
"I definitely thought the ball was out,'' Simontacchi said.
"I thought he pitched a game to win,'' manager Tony La Russa
said. "If he could take a pitch back, it would be the pitch to
Trammell. It wasn't the smartest pitch he threw all night and we
got burnt for it.''
Simontacchi beat the Padres 4-1 on July 3 as the Cardinals
completed a three-game sweep in St. Louis.
Holtz got two outs in relief of starter Brian Lawrence for the win.
Trevor Hoffman struck out the side in the ninth for his 21st save in 22 chances.
Nevin returned after missing 35 games with a broken left arm. He went 1-for-4 and committed a two-base throwing error at third base on Kerry Robinson's chopper with one out in the seventh that led to an unearned run.
The Cardinals took their lead on an RBI groundout by Albert
Pujols in the first, an RBI single by Edmonds in the sixth and a
run-scoring groundout by Mike Matheny in the seventh.
After Pujols' RBI groundout, Lawrence retired 15 straight until he hit Fernando Vina on the foot with one out in the sixth. With the no-decision, Lawrence remained winless since June 12, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked one.
Simontacchi allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings,
struck out two and walked two.
The Padres' last win over St. Louis in San Diego was on May 19, 1999. ... Cardinals ace Matt Morris, who struggled after the death of Darryl Kile, is scheduled to start Saturday night. Morris considered Kile a mentor and his locker was next to the
right-hander's. In his last two starts, Morris allowed 11 runs in 10 2/3 innings and gave up two big leads, then hung his head afterward. Morris was picked for the All-Star Game, but backed out, although he sat in the NL dugout. ... Morris is 4-0 lifetime with a 1.24 ERA against San Diego in eight games, including six starts. He's 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA at Qualcomm Stadium. ... The Padres made several moves Friday, among them activating Nevin and RHP Bobby Jones, who will start Sunday against Bud Smith, who no-hit the Padres as a rookie on Sept. 3.