SAN DIEGO (AP) — Rookie Jesse Hahn gave himself a nice present on his 25th birthday and his teammates gave him far more run support than he needed.
Hahn held St. Louis to one run and four hits in seven innings and Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable each homered and drove in four runs to lead the San Diego Padres to a 12-1 victory Wednesday night.
Yangervis Solarte, obtained from the New York Yankees in the trade for Chase Headley, had four hits and the Padres tied their season high with 16. The Padres fell one run shy of their season high.
"To get a win on your birthday is awesome," Hahn said.
His seven wins in nine appearances are the most in Padres history and tied for the third-most by a big league pitcher since 1914.
"We haven't had it enough," manager Bud Black said of the scoring outburst. "But it's great to see. It starts with starting pitching, and Jesse pitched a great game. He's not a secret, even though he's facing teams for the first time. There's video, there's scouting reports. He's being talked about because he's made a number of starts and his innings are getting up there a little bit."
Hahn's latest impressive start put the Padres, buried in third place in the NL West, in position to sweep the series with a win Thursday. The Cardinals are in the race for the NL Central crown a season after going to the World Series.
"It was probably our ugliest loss of the year. That's the best way to describe it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Hahn (7-2) struck out three and walked two in winning his third straight start. The lanky righty retired the first seven batters before Tony Cruz beat out an infield single. Hahn was acquired in a seven-player trade with Tampa Bay on Jan. 22.
Hahn took a shutout into the seventh before allowing a one-out RBI single by Peter Bourjos singled in Matt Adams.
"I was a little mad but at that point I was going for the double play to get out of the inning," Hahn said. "It was a good pitch; unfortunately the runner scored.
Venable hit a 379-foot, three-run homer to right to cap the eight-run seventh. It was his fourth. The Padres had five hits, three walks and a hit batter off three relievers in the inning. Gyorko hit a three-run double, his third hit.
Gyorko, who returned Monday from a 44-game stay on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis, homered to left on a 1-0 pitch from Joe Kelly with one out in the fourth to give San Diego a 3-0 lead. It was his sixth. Yonder Alonso followed with a triple and came in on Venable's single.
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