SAN DIEGO (AP) - Burch Smith's first stint in the major leagues was a short one.
Smith failed to record an out in the second inning and the San Diego Padres lost 5-3 to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. The hard-throwing right-hander was sent down to Triple-A Tucson after the game, just 12 days after being promoted.
``I'm not happy about it because it feels like I could have performed much better,' he said. ``I understand the decision, and I'll go down and work hard to get better. I know I'm better than how I've pitched recently, and I'm not going to let this affect my confidence.'
Smith was charged with four runs and five hits. He struggled with his command, walking three while lasting just one-plus inning for the second time in three major league starts.
Smith yielded 15 runs and 16 hits in just 7 1-3 innings during his first trip to the majors. The prized prospect, who can reach 100 mph with his fastball, was called up from Double-A San Antonio on May 11 when Clayton Richard went on the disabled list.
``It looked as though Burch was trying too hard, trying to be a bit too fine,' Padres manager Bud Black said. ``In the long run, this guy is going to be fine. He's got a good arm and great potential, but I think it's time for him to go back and reassess what happened here and how he can grow as a pitcher moving forward.'
Tyler Lyons fared far better in his major league debut. He pitched seven solid innings on the same day St. Louis lost Jaime Garcia for the season.
Lyons, who was promoted from Triple-A Memphis after Garcia went on the disabled list, allowed one run and four hits.
``It was everything I could ask for,' said Lyons, who also got his first major league hit on a single in the sixth. ``I pitched well, I got a hit and we won the ballgame. It doesn't get much better than that.'
Yadier Molina had four hits and Carlos Beltran finished with three as the Cardinals took two of three from San Diego.
Rookie Jedd Gyorko got the Padres on the board with a towering home run to center field in the seventh. Gyorko's drive went 438 feet and is the longest at Petco Park this season. He has the three longest Padres home runs this season.
Alexi Amarista added a two-run single in the ninth for San Diego. Tim Stauffer pitched 5 2-3 innings in relief of Smith and allowed one run and eight hits. He struck out seven.
The Cardinals jumped on Smith for three runs in the first. Matt Holliday had an RBI triple that was confirmed by a video review. The ball landed just below the yellow border in right field, but it came down from a difficult angle that prompted manager Mike Matheny to question whether it was a home run.
Holliday scored on Allen Craig's single, and Daniel Descalso added a run-scoring double.
NOTES: Cardinals pitcher Jake Westbook, on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, cut his bullpen session short after experiencing pain in his injured elbow. He will be evaluated further on Thursday, an off day for the club. ... Cardinals 3B David Freese, who has missed three games after lacerating his hand on Sunday, will have stitches removed on Friday and is expected to be available for that night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... San Diego Padres LF Carlos Quentin missed his second straight game with left knee soreness. ... Padres OF Cameron Maybin, on the 15-day DL with a wrist injury, will start a minor league rehab assignment with Tucson on Friday. ... Padres INF Logan Forsythe, on the 60-day disabled list with plantar fasciitis, will play extended spring training games starting Friday. He will begin as a designated hitter.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved