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Padres Power Past Cardinals

Ivan Castillo had a pinch RBI single for his first big league hit to cap a go-ahead, four-run rally in the fourth inning of a 5-3 victory against the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals that completed a three-game sweep.


 COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and three other key position players hasn't slowed the San Diego Padres in the slightest.


On Sunday, it was a cast of call-ups that came up big for the Padres. 


The Padres are 5-1 since Tuesday, when Tatis tested positive for the coronavirus before a game at Colorado and right fielder Wil Myers and first baseman Eric Hosmer were pulled from the game. A positive test was returned for Myers while Hosmer was put in the contact tracing protocol. Also Tuesday, infielder/outfielder Jurickson Profar and utilityman Jorge Mateo were sidelined because of contact tracing.


It was the first meeting between the teams since the Padres took two of three from the Cardinals to win a wild-card playoff series last season.


The Padres had to bring up several minor leaguers, and three of them had a hand in the rally in the fourth, when the Padres scored four runs with the benefit of just two hits. Three of the runs were unearned because of a throwing error on eight-time NL Gold Glove Award winner Nolan Arenado on Manny Machado's grounder, leading to a rough inning for left-hander Kwang Hyun Kim.


After Arenado airmailed the throw to first, Machado was forced on Jake Cronenworth's grounder. The next four Padres batters reached and the bases were loaded three times. Kim issued consecutive bases-loaded walks to Tucupita Marcano, who was recalled from Triple-A on Tuesday, and rookie Kim Ha-seong to tie the game at 2.


Genesis Cabrera relieved Kim and Patrick Kivlehan, brought up from Triple-A on Wednesday, gave the Padres the lead with a sacrifice fly. Castillo, pinch-hitting for rookie starter Ryan Weathers, hit an opposite-field single to right for a 4-2 lead.


Kim (1-1) allowed four runs, one earned, and two hits in 3 1/3 innings, with three strikeouts and three walks.


Weathers allowed two runs on four hits in four innings, including Arenado's two-run homer in the first, his ninth. Dinelson Lamet (1-0), who finished fourth in the NL Cy Young Award balloting in 2020, piggybacked on Weathers' start and went two innings, allowing one run and two hits while striking out two and walking two.


Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his big league-leading 14th save in as many chances.


Weathers also got his first big league hit, a single up the middle with two outs in the third.


Lamet is being brought back slowly from an elbow issue that forced him out of his final regular-season start of 2020 and sidelined him during the playoffs. He has made three starts this year, going two innings each time, and had a stint on the IL with right forearm inflammation.


Lamet pitched a perfect fifth, including two strikeouts.


John Gant (2-3, 1.83 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday night in the opener of a two-game home series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who will counter with RHP JT Brubaker (3-2, 2.58).

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