San Diego, CA – Jason Marquis pitched six solid innings while Jesus Guzman was hit by a pitch to force in the winning run as the San Diego Padres took a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals to open a three-game series.
Marquis (6-2) gave up just two runs -- one earned -- on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts to win his fifth straight start for the Padres, who have won three straight and five of seven. Will Venable hit a solo home run while Chris Denorfia went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
"I feel like I'm taking it one pitch at a time, trying to stay away from that big inning and really focus on that pitch at that particular moment instead of the big picture," Marquis said of his recent success.
Shelby Miller (5-3) gave up three runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings for the Cardinals, who had won five of seven coming into the game. Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran each scored a run in the loss.
"It was one of those games where they fouled off a lot of pitches again and got his pitch count up and ran it up too high for him to really get himself out of trouble late in the game," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Miller's outing.
The Padres trailed by a run heading into the sixth but scored a pair to go ahead.
With one out, Carlos Quentin walked and, after Yonder Alonso flied out, Jedd Gyorko walked to keep the frame alive. Fernando Salas then took over on the mound, but Denorfia greeted him with a single to center to tie the game. John Baker then drew a free pass, and Guzman forced home the go-ahead run when he was hit in the right arm by a pitch for a 3-2 advantage.
Matt Adams nearly gave the Cardinals the lead back in the seventh as he crushed a pitch with a man on first and two outs, but Venable made the catch just in front of the wall to end the frame.
San Diego created some space in the seventh thanks to Venable, who led off the frame by crushing an 0-1 pitch into the seats in right-center off of Mitchell Boggs for his seventh home run of the season.
Joe Thatcher, who pitched the final out of the seventh, got Matt Carpenter to fly out to start the eighth while Luke Gregerson set down Beltran and Matt Holliday to end the frame.
Huston Street set the Cardinals down in order in the ninth, thanks in part to a beautiful diving catch by Denorfia off an Allen Craig liner to left to start the frame, for his 11th save of the year.
Chase Headley gave the Padres a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the first inning that scored Everth Cabrera, but he made an error on a Miller grounder in the second, allowing Molina to score to tie the game.
Beltran doubled to start the second and moved to third when Holliday followed with a single. Beltran then scored to move St. Louis in front, but it was on a double play by Craig and Molina grounded out to end the frame.
Each team won three games in the series last season, all at home ... San Diego relievers gave up just one hit and one walk over the final three innings.