ST. LOUIS -- While teammates Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright are getting publicity for the Cy Young Award, Joel Pineiro is proving the Cardinals have something to offer a little deeper in the starting rotation.
Pineiro won his fifth straight decision on Saturday night, allowing three runs pitching into the seventh inning of a 7-4 victory over the San Diego Padres.
• Joel Pineiro allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings, improving to 5-0 with a 2.96 ERA in his last seven starts.
• The Cardinals won for the seventh time in their last eight games and are 8-0 in their last eight home games vs. the Padres.
• The Padres have lost three straight following a 5-1 stretch in their previous six games.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
"I felt good," said Pineiro, whose club is 8-0 in his last eight starts. "I threw a lot of pitches in the first inning, but after that I was able to settle down."Pineiro (11-9) has been consistently getting the Cardinals deep into the game, going at least six innings in 11 of his last 12 starts."I don't think he was really happy in the first inning with some of his location, but he just got better and better," said St. Louis manager Tony La Russa. "[He] got us two outs into the seventh inning, so a well-deserved win."Former Cardinal David Eckstein said that Pineiro has come up with a winning formula."What he does a great job of is locating his sinker," Eckstein said. "He's not afraid of working both sides of the plate."Matt Holliday again was a part of the offense, hitting a two-run homer. He's batting .475 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 20 games since he joined the Cardinals from Oakland."Obviously you got to have guys on base to get RBIs," Holliday said. "You got to give credit to the guys on base. ... We're getting contributions from a lot of different guys. It's fun to play that way."Skip Schumaker also drove in two for the Cardinals, and Albert Pujols, Mark DeRosa and Brendan Ryan had RBIs. St. Louis has won seven of eight and is a season-high 14 games over .500.Ryan Franklin, the last of five Cardinals relievers, worked a scoreless ninth for his 29th save in 31 opportunities. That ties him with the Padres' Heath Bell for the most saves in the National League.Adrian Gonzalez had three hits, including his 31s home run, and Chase Headley drove in a pair of runs for San Diego. Kevin Kouzmanoff also had an RBI single.The loss dropped San Diego's road record to 19-39. The Padres are 30-30 at home."I don't know how to answer that except we haven't played well on the road," San Diego manager Bud Black said.Things looked promising for San Diego when Headley hit a one-out RBI single in the first, but Colby Rasmus singled off San Diego's Tim Stauffer (1-5) in the bottom half and Pujols followed with a double to the wall in right. Holliday then hit his a 431-foot homer into the bleachers in left to make it 3-1.Gonzalez got a run back when he led off the second with a homer to left, but Schumaker gave the Cardinals a 5-2 advantage with RBI singles in the fifth and six innings.Stauffer lasted five innings, allowing four runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts."He hung in there," Black said. "There were some at-bats I'm sure he'd like back. I think he'd like to have the pitch back to Holliday."San Diego got within 5-4 in the seventh on two-out RBI singles by Headley and Kouzmanoff, but Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina got them out of the frame when he picked Will Venable off first base to end the inning.The pickoff was Molina's seventh this year and 33rd of his career.
Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single in the first. He's batting .531 during the streak (17 for 32). ... St. Louis has beaten the Padres eight straight times at Busch Stadium and 10 of 11 dating to Sept. 27, 2006. ... Stauffer's seven strikeouts equaled his career high. He's hit that mark on two other occasions, the last coming July 11 at San Francisco. ... Julio Lugo had two hits and is batting .365 in 18 games with St. Louis.