Petco Park- San Diego, California
The last time Jordan Lyles started for the Padres was a forgettable night where he allowed seven runs on 10 hits in 2017.
Thursday night against the St. Louis Cardinals was the polar opposite.
Lyles allowed five hits to the Cardinals, four to Marcel Ozuna and Tommy Pham, in his first start of the 2018 season, allowing only one earned run in five innings pitched.
Pham started the night off with a single up the middle. He would then reach second base on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball. Jose Martinez then flew out to center field to give the Cardinals a 1-0 early lead against the Padres.
After facing six batters in the first, Lyles quickly worked through the bottom of the order for a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two.
The third inning was another 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout to Matt Carpenter, who struck out three times against Lyles.
Jordan Lyles had Matt Carpenter’s number tonight. He struck out the Cardinals third-baseman three times! pic.twitter.com/nRq49yTjjR
— Patrick Cusick (@TheProfessorPQ) May 11, 2018
The fourth inning started with Ozuna’s second hit against Lyles. He would reach second after stealing, and advance to third after a Paul DeJong single. Ozuna should have scored on the hit but did not get a good read on the soft liner to center field. Lyles’ next pitch was a well located two-seam fastball that Kolton Wong grounded to second, starting an inning-ending double play.
The fifth inning looked to be a quick one until Pham struck again, hitting a home run on a 3-2 curveball that caught too much of the plate. He then struck out Carpenter for his final out of the evening.
Lyles was efficient, throwing 50 strikes out of 81, an encouraging sign in his first start of the season. Hopefully his early-season success can continue going forward because the Padres need a much more consistent player in the rotation.
– Raffy Lopez hit his second home run of the season, his first stateside of 2018 for the Padres. His first home run this season came in Monterrey, Mexico against the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.
Raffy gave this one a ride! ? pic.twitter.com/HqR2F8TseG
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 11, 2018
– Franchy Cordero had more hits, three, than the rest of the Padres, as the Cardinals pitching staff allowed only five all night. His average is now up to .281 on the season and he continues to be improving every night.
– Cardinals right-handed pitcher, Miles Mikolas, pitched wonderfully in his return to Petco Park. The ex-Padre struck out only four, but kept the Padres off balance all night, allowing only five hits while only walking one. He is now 5-0 with a 2.51 ERA.
– Phil Maton, Robbie Erlin, and Adam Cimber combined to throw four innings of three-hit baseball while striking out five. All four pitchers combined to strike out eleven Cardinals on the night.