Ian Kennedy combined with five relievers on an eight-hitter and Matt Kemp and Justin Upton keyed a seven-run seventh inning, leading the San Diego Padres to an 8-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.
Kennedy (8-11) allowed the first two runners to reach base in the seventh before three relievers each struck out a batter.
San Diego then sent 12 men to the plate in the bottom of the inning, keyed by Kemp's two-run, bases-loaded single and Upton's two-run double, both off reliever Seth Maness, that made it 5-0.
A throwing error by St. Louis third baseman Mark Reynolds then led to three unearned runs in the inning.
The loss reduced St. Louis' lead in the NL Central to 3 1-2 games over Pittsburgh, which beat San Francisco 3-2.
The Padres, who have won nine of 11, tied their season high with their fifth straight win.
San Diego led 1-0 when the Cardinals threatened in the seventh inning against Kennedy before three relievers combined to escape the jam.
Brandon Moss led off with a double and took third on Tommy Pham's single. Sean Kelley replaced Kennedy and struck out pitcher Carlos Martinez, who had hits in his first two at-bats.
Left-hander Marc Rzepczynski came in to strike out Kolten Wong and recently acquired Bud Norris struck out Stephen Piscotty looking.
Kevin Quackenbush and Odrisamer Despaigne each pitched a scoreless inning for San Diego's fourth shutout of the season.
Kennedy allowed seven hits, struck out 10 and walked one.
Martinez (12-6) lost his second straight start, allowing three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Padres rookie Travis Jankowski, who made his major-league debut Friday night with two hits and an RBI, followed with two hits and two RBIs.
Kennedy used strikeouts to escape a couple of jams. After Martinez reached on a one-out double in the third inning and went to third base, Kennedy struck out Piscotty looking.
In the fifth, Pham had a one-out double and took third on Martinez's infield single. Kennedy struck out Matt Carpenter and Piscotty to end the inning.
Carpenter was ejected by home plate umpire Chris Segal for arguing after being called out on strikes.
Cardinals: Although RF Jason Heyward started his second straight game, the team is being cautious about his sore hamstring.
Padres: C Derek Norris left the game in the eighth inning after Quackenbush struck out pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos. The strikeout pitch deflected off Norris and bounced away, allowing Bourjos to take first. Norris then went to his knees before coming out.
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (14-4, 2.85 ERA) will look to increase his career highs in wins (14), starts (23), innings pitched (145 1-3) and strikeouts (125) in Sunday's series finale.
Padres: RHP Colin Rea (2-0, 4.22) will attempt to join Dave Freisleben (1974) as the only Padres to win their first three career starts. All three of Rea's starts have been at home.