SAN DIEGO (AP) - It's almost time for the San Diego Padres to head back out on the road and leave their Petco Park troubles behind.
Daniel Descalso singled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 11th inning and the St. Louis Cardinals held the Padres to just two hits in a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.
The Padres lost their season-high fifth straight and dropped to 8-20 at home, worst in the majors. It was the first time in six games they scored more than one run.
The Padres are 1-6 on this homestand, with one game to go. They've been outscored 25-8 and outhit 53-22.
``Now we're back in the struggling part,' said Brad Hawpe, who hit a two-run homer in the first inning. ``Right now we just got back into that rut. We just haven't been swinging the bats well. We're in fight mode right now.'
The Padres were denied hits on nice catches by left fielder Lance Berkman, who made a diving, snowcone grab against Kyle Phillips in the 11th, and right fielder Allen Craig, who made a diving grab of Jason Bartlett's flyball leading off the ninth.
``We have to keep grinding through it and hope some of those balls fall,' manager Bud Black said. ``We saw two tonight. Things just aren't going our way.'
Descalso's sharp one-hopper off the glove of diving second baseman Orlando Hudson - his third hit - scored Craig, who drew a leadoff walk from Ernesto Frieri (1-2) and stole second. Frieri struck out Skip Schumaker and rookie Tony Cruz, who had three hits in his big league debut.
Miguel Batista (3-1) pitched two innings for the win. Eduardo Sanchez worked the 11th for his fifth save.
The Cardinals have won four straight and eight of nine.
St. Louis stranded a runner in every inning except the fourth and 10th.
San Diego's Chase Headley walked leading off the 10th and was sacrificed to second by Cameron Maybin before being stranded when pinch-hitter Jorge Cantu hit into a double play.
St. Louis took a 1-0 lead in the first on Lance Berkman's two-out infield single and an error on Hawpe.
Hawpe hit a two-run homer to straightaway center in the bottom of the inning, one batter after Ryan Ludwick reached on shortstop Ryan Theriot's two-out throwing error. It was Hawpe's third. The Padres had only two baserunners after the homer until the 10th.
``I think they are hanging in there,' Black said. ``Obviously they are frustrated with what the results have been. But they come to the park every day to play.'
Hawpe made a diving catch of Jon Jay's line drive to end the seventh with a runner on third. The Cardinals had just tied the game at 2 on Theriot's groundout. Cruz led off the inning with his second big league hit, a double, and advanced on Descalso's single before being caught in a rundown on a grounder to first by pinch-hitter Colby Rasmus.
Cruz's first big league hit was a single up the middle in the second. Cruz was recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Monday after backup catcher Gerald Laird was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken right index finger.
Neither starter factored in the decision. St. Louis' Kyle McClellan held San Diego to two unearned runs and two hits in six innings, struck out four and walked none. San Diego's Aaron Harang allowed two runs, one earned, and eight hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked one.
``I made really two mistakes and both were hits,' McClellan said. ``Other than that I felt like I was in control and was able to use all my pitches. It's the big leagues, and they hit mistakes.'
NOTES: Black said C Nick Hundley is about a week from returning from the DL. The Padres will know by Friday whether Hundley can start taking swings. Hundley went on the DL on May 6, retroactive to May 5, with a strained muscle in his right side. ... Chris Denorfia struck out in the third, the Padres' 400th whiff of the season. ... This was San Diego's sixth extra-inning game.
The Associated Press News Service
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