Cardinals hold on to edge Padres

St. Louis, MO ( - Jon Jay's pinch-hit, two-run double in the eighth inning helped give the St. Louis Cardinals a 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres to begin a four-game series.

Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run home run for the Cardinals, who have won their past two games.

John Lackey pitched seven strong innings, giving up two runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Seth Maness (4-2) nabbed the win for tossing a 1-2-3 eighth.

Jedd Gyorko and Rymer Liriano each drove in a run for the Padres, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.

Eric Stults had a strong start, allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout over seven innings. Alex Torres (1-1) didn't get an out in the eighth, however, as he allowed two runs on two hits and a walk.

With the game tied at 2-2, Tony Cruz singled to start the Cardinals' half of the eighth and Daniel Descalso followed with a walk. Matt Carpenter then singled to load the bases and the Padres brought in Nick Vincent to relieve Torres.

With the infield and outfield playing short, Jay lofted a pitch over the head of center fielder Will Venable for a double and a 4-2 lead.

"As a pinch-hitter you have to be ready to go," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Jay. "He was ready."

Vincent didn't allow another run to keep the Padres in striking distance.

With Trevor Rosenthal on the mound to close the game for St. Louis, Yasmani Grandal singled to lead off the ninth. Alexi Amarista later hit a one-out single and Chris Nelson walked to load the bases.

Jake Goebbert then hit a single to right and Grandal easily scored. Amarista rounded third in an attempt to tie the game, but Shane Robinson made a strong throw to home and A.J. Pierzynski made the tag on Amarista.

The play was reviewed to see if Pierzynski did tag Amarista, who tried to slide around the tag and wound up tapping home plate before home plate umpire Bob Davidson called him out. The call was upheld.

"These plays come from New York so there was no explanation given to me," Padres manager Bud Black said of the play at the plate. "When that play occurred, you saw two major-league players react to a play that a tag was missed."

Venable then drew a four-pitch walk, but Rosenthal struck out Tommy Medica to pick up his 36th save of the season.

Peralta's two-run homer in the second gave the Cardinals the lead, but the Padres tied the game in the sixth on a run-scoring fielder's choice from Gyorko and RBI single by Liriano.

Game Notes

San Diego manager Bud Black was ejected after arguing the replay call in the ninth ... San Diego went just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight ... The Padres took two of three from the Cardinals in San Diego in late July.