The Padres were just six outs away from salvaging a win in Saint Louis and avoiding a sweep at the hands of the Cardinals.
Andrew Cashner turned in a great outing (and potentially increased his trade value), Yangervis Solarte provided a solo shot, and San Diego was about to head to Washington, D.C. on a good note.
Unfortunately, the Redbirds had other ideas.
San Diego was in a great spot with a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the 8th inning. But the usually steady Ryan Buchter struggled on the mound and allowed four runs – including a crippling 3-run bomb by Stephen Piscotty that tied the game, 5-5.
Then in the bottom of the 9th, Saint Louis loaded the bases against Carlos Villanueva and Aledmys Diaz lifted a RBI single to left to complete the comeback and finish off the sweep, 6-5.
The Padres fell to 3-4 since the All-Star break in heartbreaking fashion.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny enjoyed Jedd Gyorko’s recent hot streak so much he decided to bump up the third baseman to the lead-off spot for Thursday’s series finale.
But for the first time in four games, Gyorko was actually not the main story this time around. And he did not hit a home run Thursday after blasting six off his former team in the past five games.
Cashner was able to strikeout his former teammate in the first inning and kept him off the base paths in his first three at-bats.
Gyorko later singled and scored in the wild 8th inning that sparked the home team’s comeback.
In what could be Cashner’s last start in a Padres uniform, the right-hander pitched well for the second straight outing.
Cashner struck out eight and limited the Redbirds to just one run and three hits over 5.2 innings.
San Diego continues its 10-game road trip Friday in the nation’s capital.
The Padres send Luis Perdomo to the mound while the Nationals plan to start Tanner Roark. First pitch is at 4:05 PT.