The Cardinals staked the pitcher with the highest winning percentage in the history of Busch Stadium III to a 3-0 lead in the first inning Wednesday.
But they managed to score three in their half of the opening frame against Jeff Suppan -- and then add a two-run homer from Carlos Beltran in the fifth to sweep the Padres by a final 6-3 score.
St. Louis starter Lance Lynn struggled in the opening half inning. He gave up a homer on the second pitch he threw in the game to Will Venable. He gave up a single to Corbin Maybin but got a break when Maybin was busted trying to steal second base. He responded by walking the next man he faced and then hitting the one after that. The Padres scored their second run on a single and their third on a fielder's choice.
But the Cardinals responded immediately when Rafeal Furcal singled and Skip Schumaker doubled him home in the bottom of the first. Matt Holliday lined out to short and Carlos Beltran flew out to deep center. But the Cardinals scored their second run on a single by David Freese to make the score 3-2. Yadier Molina singled Freese to third and then rookie Matt Adams singled over second base to tie the game.
Holliday singled to lead off the fifth. Then Beltran hit a towering rainbow shot that stayed juuuuust fair to give the Redbirds a lead they would never surrender.
Lynn steadied himself as the game went on and managed to last six innings with three runs scored on eight hits. He walked three and struck out three. Suppan, who compiled his impressive Busch Stadium record as a member of the 2006 World Series champions before taking his talents to Milwaukee as a free agent, gave up five runs on eight hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. He improved to 7-1 for the season with a 2.54 ERA.
David Freese, who started after two days off thanks to a lingering slump, was 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the seventh inning that accounted for the Birds' sixth run.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Freese
Cardinals Play of the Game: Beltran's homer
Lowlight: It's a shame the Cardinals had to tag a loss on Suppan who fell to 2-3. Out of the majors last season, Suppan was a very good player and a great teammate for the Redbirds during his time here.