Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer to trigger a four-run first inning and the visiting St. Louis Cardinals scored six runs in 2 1/3 innings against emergency Padres starter Chris Paddack Wednesday afternoon to win the opener of the best-of-three National League wild-card series 7-4 at Petco Park in San Diego.
The Padres opened the playoffs without their top two starting pitchers -- Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger -- on the 28-man roster due to injuries.
St. Louis is 10-1 in postseason play against San Diego dating back to 1996 and can advance to the second round with a win Thursday.
The Cardinals wasted no time jumping on Paddack, getting eight hits from his 15 hitters faced -- including five hits in the first inning on just 16 pitches.
San Diego native Tommy Edman started the first-inning rally with a one-out single. Goldschmidt then drove a first-pitch fastball into the left-field stands for his first homer since Sept. 12 and his seventh career playoff homer in 18 games.
Dylan Carlson followed with a double and scored on a single by Yadier Molina. The catcher moved to third on a double by Paul DeJong and scored on Matt Carpenter's sacrifice fly.
The Padres scored single runs in the first and second against Cardinals starter Kwang Hyun Kim on sacrifice flies by Eric Hosmer and Austin Nola before the Cardinals widened their lead to 6-2 in the top of the third against Paddack.
Carlson singled with one out, moved to third on a Molina double and scored on DeJong's single. Molina scored on a Carpenter single after Matt Strahm followed Paddack. Dexter Fowler drove home the Cardinals' final run with a single in the ninth.
In addition to his two-run homer, first baseman Goldschmidt threw out two Padres on the bases over the last four innings. Carpenter also had two RBIs. Carlson reached base four times on two hits and two walks and scored twice. Molina was 3-for-5 with a RBI and two runs scored.
The Padres scored in the bottom of the third against Kim on singles by Fernando Tatis Jr., Wil Myers and Tommy Pham. And San Diego pulled to within two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a second sacrifice fly by Nola -- but lost a chance for more when a strong cut-off throw turned Nola's fly to Fowler into a double play.
Giovanny Gallegos, who struck out Tatis with the tying runs on base in the sixth, was credited with the win. Alex Reyes retired all four Padres he faced to get the save.
Paddack, who gave up six runs on eight hits in his brief stint, took the loss. Kim allowed three runs on five hits and two walks in his 3 2/3 innings.
--Field Level Media