The usual suspects coughed up a slim Cardinals lead Monday night and St. Louis lost the first game of its road trip to the San Diego Padres.
Rookie Shelby Miller started the game for the Redbirds and held San Diego to one run through five innings. But his pitch count piled up quickly and he ran out of gas in the sixth inning.
Miller retired Chase Headley but then walked Carlos Quentin. After getting Yonder Alonso to fly out to right field he walked Jedd Gyorko and manager Mike Matheny had seen enough. He brought in Fernando Salas to replace Miller and Chris Denorfia singled to tie the game at two. John Baker was walked to load the bases... And then Salas hit Jesus Guzman with a pitch to force in what would prove to be the winning run.
In the seventh inning Mitchell Boggs made his first appearance since being recalled from Class AAA Memphis where he was supposed to be straightening out his mechanics after getting off to a terrible start to the season in the big leaues.
The first hitter Boggs faced in his return, Will Venable, homered to right center field. Boggs was able to get out of the inning after the homer without further damage. The Cardinals ended up losing the game 4-2.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Jon Jay was the only St. Louis hitter to collect as many as two hits, a disappointing development against journeyman San Diego starter Jason Marquis.
Cardinals Play of the Game: In the third inning the Padres got their leadoff man on with a triple -- and Miller recorded two strikeouts and a pop out to preserve the lead at least temporarily.
Lowlight: The Cardinals bullpen still can't be trusted, with the exception of Trevor Rosenthal in the eighth inning and Edward Mujica in the ninth. If the Cardinals starters can't pitch at least seven innings, games are in jeopardy.