The Chirp: Cards-Padres preview with USA Today's Bob Nightengale

3:31 PM, May 21, 2012   |    comments
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Jaime Garcia (54) pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

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  • (The Chirp) -- As injuries and losses mount coming off a dismal trip out west, the Cardinals must get ready to do business again tonight against one of the worst offensive clubs in the majors, the San Diego Padres.

    But, no major league club can ever be counted out, and the Cardinals know no Padres player is going to cut them some slack for all the injuries the Cardinals have absorbed. 

    In recent days the club has placed, Jon Jay, Allen Craig, Kyle McClellan and Lance Berkman on the disabled list.  Jay and Craig are expected back soon.  McClellan could be out for an extended period, and Berkman is awaiting test results to determine the scope of his knee injury sustained on Saturday.

    Meanwhile the Padres are in town and baseball continues.  The Cardinals, despite being swept in Los Angeles still hold on to first place in the National League Central and are hoping Jaime Garcia can win back-to-back starts for the first time this season when he toes the rubber Monday.

    Garcia ended a four-start winless drought (0-2) his previous time out in a 4-1 win at San Francisco, as he fired 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball and fanned a season-best nine batters.

    San Diego will close out the month of May with a 10-game road trip against the Cardinals, Mets and Cubs. It took two of three meetings from the LA Angels of Anaheim over the weekend and won for the fourth time in six tries with Sunday's 3-2 win in 13 innings at Petco Park.

    Will Venable's RBI single in the bottom of the 13th inning plated pinch-hitter Clayton Richard for the game-winning run. Richard is pitching tonight and reached base on a two-out single. Yonder Alonso finished with two hits and a pair of RBI, while Venable had two hits and scored a run for San Diego.

    "I was surprised that he made it so far but I was happy to see him cross the plate," Venable said of Richard.

    Miles Mikolas pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win and Anthony Bass gave up two runs on five hits in a six-inning start.

    The Padres are 4-10 as the visitor this season and hope Richard can string back-to-back wins together this evening. Richard ended a personal five-game losing streak his last time out and was 0-5 in his six previous starts (all losses) before holding the Dodgers to a pair of runs over seven frames in last Wednesday's 4-2 victory at home.

    Richard is 2-5 in eight starts to go along with a 4.94 earned run average, but is 0-3 with a 7.99 ERA in four road assignments this season. In three career starts against the Cardinals, the lefty is 2-0 with a 3.45 ERA.

    San Diego and St. Louis are meeting for the first time since splitting six matchups a year ago.

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