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Padres blank Cardinals behind Mike Clevinger

Sep 20, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Brendan Donovan (33) throws to first base after forcing out San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado (13) at second base to complete a double play during the fifth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Clevinger became the third straight Padres starter to record a scoreless outing on Tuesday night as San Diego defeated the visiting St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 in the opener of a three-game series.

The Padres’ fourth straight win strengthened their hold on a National League wild-card berth as both Philadelphia and Milwaukee lost. San Diego (82-66) now leads the Phillies by 1 1/2 games for the second wild-card spot and is four games ahead of the Brewers, who are attempting to claim the third.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals (87-62) remained 8 1/2 games in front of Milwaukee in the NL Central.

Clevinger (6-7) gave up three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright (11-10) gave up four runs on six hits and two walks with one strikeout in six innings.

Padres starters are riding a 20 2/3 scoreless innings streak with Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish both turning in six-inning scoreless starts in the previous two games. Blake Snell provided the other three scoreless innings of the streak on Friday.

Clevinger and relievers Nick Martinez, Tim Hill and Luis Garcia combined on a five-hit shutout.

The Padres jumped on Wainwright for two runs in the first.

Jurickson Profar opened the game by drawing a walk. Juan Soto followed with a single with Profar stopping at second. Manny Machado then hit a grounder to third, with Nolan Arenado forcing out Profar, but his throw to first for a potential double play was wide of the bag.

Brandon Drury followed with a flyout into the right field corner that allowed both Soto and Machado to move up a base. Jake Cronenworth then hit a bloop single down the line in left that scored both runners.

Ha-Seong Kim hit a two-out homer to left in the fourth to make it 3-0 and the Padres scored a fourth run off Wainwright in the fifth. Jose Azocar opened the inning with a single, moved to second when Soto drew a one-out walk and scored on Machado’s single.

Albert Pujols went 2-for-3 with a walk, but remained at 698 career homers for St. Louis.

–Field Level Media