Padres beat slumping Cardinals 6-4
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals still can't find all the answers as they try to add to their lead in the postseason race.
Logan Forsythe and Alexi Amarista had key hits in a five-run fourth inning, and the San Diego Padres beat the Cardinals 6-4 Tuesday night to send the slumping World Series champions to their 10th loss in 14 games.
St. Louis maintained a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL's second wild-card berth but dropped 10½ games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central.
The only saving grace for the Cardinals is that the teams directly behind them have played as bad or worse then them.
"The bottom line is we have to win, regardless of if the other teams in contention are losing or not," third baseman David Freese said.
"This is a good opportunity to lengthen our lead in the standings and we are not doing it. It's putting more pressure on this team and allowing other teams to stick around," he said.
While the Dodgers and Pittsburgh both lost, Milwaukee and Philadelphia have both crept to within four games of the Cardinals.
"It doesn't seem like there are any breaks when things are going bad," St. Louis second baseman Skip Schumaker said. "It's where we are at right now, and it's tough. We are letting other teams in and it's going to make these next couple of weeks interesting."
Freese provided one of the few spots for the Cardinals with a solo homer in the seventh that cut San Diego's lead to 5-4. But St. Louis was just 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 runners. The Cardinals have lost seven of their last eight road games.
"We had a lot of chances in the middle of the order, where we want it to be," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "We just didn't get it done."
Since Aug. 22, the Cardinals have held onto the last NL wild-card spot despite an 8-11 record. But the Dodgers are 7-10 and the Pirates have gone 5-12.
Forsythe, a homer shy of the cycle in Monday night's 11-3 win over St. Louis, doubled in two runs and Amarista added a two-run triple as San Diego erased a 2-0 deficit in the fourth.
Edinson Volquez (10-10) allowed three runs — two earned — and four hits in 5 1-3 innings, striking out six and walking six. He has a career-high 100 walks, the most in the majors this season.
Luke Gregerson pitched 1 2-3 innings for his sixth save in 10 chances, finishing San Diego's 16th win in 21 games.
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