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Padres can't climb out of early hole in 7-6 loss to Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS - Odrisamer Despaigne grooved too many pitches in the first inning. The San Diego Padres couldn't quite climb out of the hole.

Matt Carpenter homered, doubled and drove in three runs, Adam Wainwright tied for the major league lead with his 15th win and the St. Louis Cardinals topped the Padres 7-6 on Sunday.

"My only problem was location and having problems when I had to throw strikes," the 27-year-old rookie said through a translator, coach Jose Valentin. "The good hitters made me pay."

Jon Jay's two-run single highlighted a four-run first inning when the Cardinals batted around against Despaigne (3-4). Peter Bourjos and Tony Cruz each had an RBI single for St. Louis, which beat the rookie for the second time in a span of four starts and took three of four in the series.

"We were able to jump on him," Carpenter said. "Once we got going, the momentum was on our side."

Despaigne threw seven shutout innings his last time out against Colorado for his first win in seven starts.

He's 0-2 with a 10.24 ERA against the Cardinals and 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA in nine starts against anyone else. He's allowed five runs twice, both times against St. Louis.

"Yeah, I know I've been inconsistent," Despaigne said. "This is the second time this team has seen me and good teams know how to make adjustments."

Carpenter's two-run double off Tim Stauffer in the sixth made it a three-run cushion for Wainwright (15-7), who joined the Reds' Johnny Cueto at 15 wins. Milwaukee's Wily Peralta was seeking his 15th later Sunday.

Wainwright allowed three earned runs in seven innings with five strikeouts and one walk. He's 5-0 at home with a 1.55 ERA against the Padres.

Seth Maness got two outs for his second save.

Alexi Amarista and Yangvertis Solarte had an RBI apiece in the San Diego fifth. Jake Goebbert had an RBI triple and scored on second baseman Kolten Wong's wild relay as the Padres pulled within 5-4 in the sixth.

Abraham Almonte hit a two-run single on the first pitch from Maness after Trevor Rosenthal walked the bases full in the ninth. First baseman Matt Adams made a nice defensive stop to rob Seth Smith of a game-tying hit for the second out.

The Padres had won five in a row prior to the series and entered Sunday 17-10 after the All-Star break, best in the NL.

"They're playing their hearts out, which is great," Black said. "Gave them another great finish. It just didn't happen."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: 3B Solarte has started the last two games after missing a pair with a mild left oblique strain.

Cardinals: OF Matt Holliday got a day off with a minor knee problem, plus has been scuffling at the plate, going 0 for 18 the previous five games.

UP NEXT

Padres: Ian Kennedy (9-10, 3.54) and San Diego open a three-game set against the Dodgers' Kevin Correia (1-0, 1.50).

Cardinals: Justin Masterson (6-7, 5.58) faces the Reds and Mike Leake (9-11, 3.59) on Monday. Masterson is coming off seven scoreless innings against the Marlins, the best of three starts since arriving at the trade deadline.

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