Gyorko, Hazelbaker hit 3-run homers in Cardinals' 11-2 win
SAN DIEGO (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals put on quite a hitting display in what's supposed to be a pitchers' park.
Rookie Aledmys Diaz had his first five-hit game, Jedd Gyorko and Jeremy Hazelbaker hit three-run homers and the Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 11-2 on Saturday night.
Diaz had a two-run double in the ninth, while Gyorko homered against his old team and Hazelbaker snapped an 0-for-17 slump. Gyorko and Stephen Piscotty each had three hits, and Piscotty hit a solo homer in the sixth.
''I had a very good day at the plate and helped my team to win,'' said Diaz, the first Cardinals rookie with five hits in a game since Wally Moon on May 12, 1954, against Pittsburgh. Moon also had five hits against Milwaukee on April 23 that year.
While all of Diaz's hits stayed in the yard, Gyorko and Hazelbaker homered off Carlos Villanueva, who pitched for the Cardinals last year before signing with the Padres as a free agent.
Gyorko, traded to the Cardinals for outfielder Jon Jay on Dec. 8, reached the second deck in left field with a 436-foot shot, his third, with one out in the eighth.
Gyorko, who's been booed in the first two games of the three-game series, said there was ''no extra pleasure'' in beating the Padres.
''We're out here trying to win games,'' he said. ''Just because it happened to be against the Padres doesn't mean it's a super pleasure or anything added to it. It's just another game for us. We're trying to go out there and win games and we played pretty well tonight.''
Hazelbaker homered to right-center with one out in the seventh to snap a 2-2 tie.
He said he'd been ''kind of trying to make things happen, as opposed to just letting things happen on their own, you know, getting a little antsy and a little jumpy in there.''
He said the home run pitch was ''just a changeup, a little up. I had a good feeling something offspeed was coming so I was trying to get something a little elevated in the zone. `'
Michael Wacha (2-0) and three relievers combined on a four-hitter.
Kevin Quackenbush (1-1) allowed two runs and one hit in 1 1/3 innings for the loss. He allowed a walk and a single in the seventh before Brad Hand came on and allowed pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter's RBI single. Villanueva then allowed Hazelbaker's homer.
Wacha allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, walked four and struck out none.
''Their guys were taking some good at-bats against me and they had a great approach out there, but guys were making great plays behind me, and that's how I wanted it to be,'' Wacha said.
Cesar Vargas made an impressive big league debut for the Padres, allowing just one run and five hits in five-plus innings, with three strikeouts and three walks.
His only mistake was hanging a curveball that Piscotty drove into the seats in left field for his third homer to tie the game at 1 leading off the sixth.
Through an interpreter, Vargas said he was ''a little upset in the overall results of the game. Personally, at the end of the day, happy. I was a little inconsistent in my pitches but I went out there and did my work. I'm happy.''
Manager Andy Green agreed.
''I thought he was really good. As he went deeper into the game he kind of settled in better and better for the fourth and fifth innings,'' Green said. ''For the first inning he was a little jumpy, the first few pitches. After that he kind of settled right down. Couldn't ask for more from him, coming up and doing that.''
The 24-year-old Vargas was recalled from Double-A San Antonio to start in place of lefty Robbie Erlin, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left elbow on Thursday, retroactive to Monday. Vargas, a native of Puebla, Mexico, signed as a major league free agent in November. He spent the previous seven seasons in the New York Yankees' organization.
San Diego's Melvin Upton Jr. hit a sacrifice fly in the first. After Piscotty homered, the Padres tied it in the bottom of the sixth with a sac fly by Alexei Ramirez.
Padres: To make room for Vargas, INF-OF Alexi Amarista was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring, retroactive to Wednesday
Cardinals: RHP Mike Leake (0-2, 5.71), who went to Fallbrook High in northern San Diego County, is scheduled to start the series finale.
Padres: RHP Colin Rea (1-1, 5.51) is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season.