Allen Craig slowly went back to the warning track.
After the Padres just failed to tie the game because a double bounced out of play, Jedd Gyorko sent Edward Mujica's splitter deep to left.
Craig, after turning around on his way to the fence, recovered to get his right shoulder against the fence as he timed his jump. He elevated his glove over the padding and snagged Gyorko's fly ball to make it the 27th out in the St. Louis Cardinals' 3-2 win against the San Diego Padres in the rubber match of a three-game set.
"I didn't know if he hit it good enough to get it out," Craig said. "I had to run back pretty far to get it. He's always a guy who hits the ball to right field, so I was kind of shading the gap a little bit and he hit it straight over my head. That's always a tough play for an outfielder, to turn around and run straight back, not sure where it's going to fade to."
David Freese had two hits and lined a two-run double in the third inning that dropped just past Alexi Amarista's outstretched glove and proved to be the difference.
Adam Wainwright (13-5) gave up two runs on eight hits and two walks in eight innings. He struck out seven and became the National League's first to 13 wins.
Yonder Alonso had three hits and knocked in a run for the Padres.
Eric Stults (8-8) took the loss despite a 124-pitch effort. He gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings.
Alexi Amarista started the Padres' ninth-inning rally with a one-out single. Two batters later, Logan Forsythe sent a double down the left-field line. With Amarista set to score, the ball bounced out of play for a ground-rule double, putting runners on second and third with two outs. Gyorko crushed an inside splitter deep to left field, but Craig made his leaping catch to save the game.
"I thought it had a chance," Gyorko said. "It was a good play. That's how the game goes sometimes. You have to give him credit."
Craig's grab helped Edward Mujica pick up his 28th save.
Alonso knocked in a run to give the Padres a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Everth Cabrera opened the game with a double that bounced off Freese's glove at third base. Alonso lined a two-out single to left-center field to score Cabrera.
St. Louis responded with three runs in the third. Matt Carpenter crushed a leadoff double off the right-field wall. Yadier Molina followed with a walk and Carpenter scored on Craig's base hit to center field.
Freese then gave the Cardinals the lead when he sent a liner to center field. Amarista made a diving attempt, but the ball bounced just in front of his glove and rolled to the fence, scoring Molina and Craig.
The Padres got a run back in the sixth. Carlos Quentin smashed a double off the left-field fence and moved to third on an Alonso single. Will Venable followed with a double-play ground out, but Quentin scored on the play.
San Diego threatened to tie the game in the seventh after Logan Forsythe led off with a single and moved to third on a pair of ground outs. After a nine- pitch battle, Wainwright caught Cabrera looking at a cutter for strike three to end the inning.
The Cardinals won four out of six in the season series ... The Padres are 1-7 in rubber matches this season ... Alonso extended his hitting streak to 12 games ... Wainwright is 5-2 with a 1.47 earned run average in 10 games -- seven starts -- in his career against San Diego ... The Padres went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven on base while the Cardinals went 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.