It took just one inning to spark the St. Louis Cardinals to a decisive victory against San Diego and out of their recent doldrums at the plate.
The Cardinals seek to build on that performance and win their road series against the Padres on Sunday.
St. Louis never looked back from a 2-1 deficit when Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a three-run homer and Matt Carpenter had an RBI single in the seventh inning Saturday. Former Padres infielder Jedd Gyorko had a three-run shot and Aledmys Diaz finished off a 5-for-5 night with a two-run double.
"(The contributions) were pretty much from everywhere tonight," Gyorko said. "The way Diaz has been swinging, he's been impressive. Hazelbaker has had great at-bats all season. We're never surprised when he comes up and gets a big hit for us."
Diaz became the first St. Louis rookie with five hits in a game since Wally Moon in May 1954.
The Cardinals (9-8) totaled 11 runs in their previous five games while batting .118 with runners in scoring position and .214 overall. St. Louis led the majors with 85 runs and batted .347 in the clutch in its first 11 contests.
The Cardinals will face Colin Rea (1-1, 5.51 ERA) as they try to close out their stay in San Diego with another victory. The right-hander has a 3.00 ERA in his past two starts and earned his first win of the season Tuesday with a 5-4 victory, giving up three runs in five innings - one coming on a balk call that was reversed then upheld.
Rea lost his only start against St. Louis on Aug. 23, allowing five runs in four innings in a 10-3 defeat.
Mike Leake (0-2, 5.71) earned his first win in six starts against San Diego (7-11) in his lone matchup last season, yielding three runs in six innings in a 10-3 win for San Francisco on Sept. 13.
Leake posted a 1.63 ERA in his previous four matchups with his hometown team but received a combined three runs of support while going 0-1.
The right-hander has given up four runs in each of his first three starts for the Cardinals and gave up three of his four in the seventh of his 5-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Monday.
"I thought that was a really good outing by him," manager Mike Matheny said. "I think we have seen that pretty consistently. He had a rough start (in Pittsburgh on April 6) but was able to pitch his way through it. I thought he threw the ball well today."
Former Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay, batting .474 in his last five games, has just two hits in his last 16 at-bats against Leake while striking out six times. Jay, though, is batting .310 while hitting safely in nine of his first 10 home games for San Diego.
St. Louis' Stephen Piscotty, 6 for 13 with three extra-base hits in his last three games, has a triple in two at-bats versus Rea.