Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run home run during a four-run first inning, St. Louis' bullpen held strong after starter Kwang Hyun Kim stumbled in his playoff debut and the Cardinals ruined the Padres' long-awaited return to the playoffs with a 7-4 victory Wednesday in the opener of their NL wild-card series.
Right-hander Chris Paddack (0-1) failed to give the Padres the boost they desperately needed after Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet were left off the wild-card roster due to injuries suffered in their final regular-season starts.
Paddack lasted only 2 1/3 innings and gave up six runs.
After retiring leadoff batter Kolten Wong, Paddack allowed the next five batters to reach. San Diego native Tommy Edman singled and Goldschmidt homered to left. Dylan Carlson doubled, 38-year-old Yadier Molina hit an RBI single and Paul DeJong doubled before Matt Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly.
Paddack allowed three straight hits to open the third, including DeJong's RBI single, before being replaced by Matt Strahm. Carpenter added an RBI single for a 6-2 lead.
Paddack allowed eight hits, struck out one, and walked none.
Giovanny Gallegos (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win and Alex Reyes got the last four outs for the save. Five relievers combined for 5 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and an unearned run.
Kim, a 32-year-old rookie, allowed three runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings, struck out two, and walked two.
Kim allowed Eric Hosmer's sac fly in the first, Aaron Nola's sac fly in the second, and Tommy Pham's RBI single in the third.
Nola hit another sac fly in the sixth. Fernando Tatis Jr., who had reached twice, scored twice and hit a ball to the warning track in right, struck out with runners on first and second to end the inning.
Tatis came up with two on and two out in the eighth and grounded out. Rookie Jake Cronenworth had a baserunning blunder in both the sixth and eighth.
Dexter Fowler hit an RBI single in the ninth off Trevor Rosenthal, who started his big league career with the Cardinals.
St. Louis' Harrison Bader struck out five times. The center fielder did make a nice catch up against the fence of Wil Myers' fly ball to end the game.