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Cards hope Lackey can rebound in opener with Padres

(SportsNetwork.com) - John Lackey tries to shake off one of the worst outings of his career on Thursday when the St. Louis Cardinals open a four-game series with the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium.

In his second start since being acquired by Boston at the non-waiver trade deadline, Lackey was rocked by the Baltimore Orioles to the tune of nine runs and 13 hits in five innings, skyrocketing his ERA in a Cardinals uniform to 8.25.

"You got to give them a lot of credit," Lackey said. "They're swinging the bats well. Hits were falling in. A couple of them were hit real hard and they went out of the yard."

Lackey has split two starts versus the Padres, going 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA.

St. Louis returns home after a 2-4 road trip. The Cards, though, closed the trek in style on Wednesday in Miami, as Matt Carpenter had three hits and scored twice and Justin Masterson pitched a gem in a 5-2 win over the Marlins.

Masterson (2-1) was dominant in his third start for the Cards since coming over in a trade from the Indians. The veteran righty allowed just three hits over seven efficient innings.

"The best thing about it was guys played extreme defense out there," said Masterson. "When we're going good we get some ground balls, and all the guys out there were doing great.

San Diego, meanwhile, comes in red-hot, having matched its season-best five- game winning streak following a sweep over the Colorado Rockies. On Wednesday, Rymer Liriano's first career home run, a two-run blast, helped the Padres to a 5-3 victory.

Jedd Gyorko finished 4-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored and Abraham Almonte also homered for the Padres, who have won 11 of their last 14.

Ian Kennedy (9-10) earned the win after giving up three runs on six hits with eight strikeouts in six innings of work.

"We are playing better all around," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We are probably pitching better the past few weeks and our at-bats are better for sure."

Now it'll be Eric Stults' turn, as he tries to win his third straight start. Stults still leads the National League with 13 losses, but has been brilliant his last two times out, surrendering one run over 12 2/3 innings.

"It's nice to just have a win," Stults said after holding Pittsburgh to one run in six innings on Saturday. "This year has been a little frustrating."

Stults had been 0-9 with a 5.37 ERA over his previous 12 road starts before beating the Pirates.

San Diego took two of three from the Cards in late July.

08/14 10:35:13 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
Final
BAL 2
BOS 3
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
Final
ATL 2
NYM 10
Final
TAM 5
CWS 10
Final
MIN 2
CLE 7
Final
KAN 5
DET 2
Final
HOU 8
SEA 3
Final
CHC 5
LOS 8
Final
ANA 1
TEX 2
Final
OAK 8
PHI 6
Final
COL 8
ARI 3
Final
SDP 8
SFG 2
Final
STL 2
CIN 7
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
Final
WAS 1
BUF 0
Final
CLB 4
STL 3
Final
EDM 3
CAL 1
Final
CAL 1
EDM 0
1:30pm Today
NYI
OTT
 
6:00pm Tonight
NYI
OTT
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
MIN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
ANA
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
LOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
Final
ARI 23
SFX 14
Final
SEA 26
DEN 20
Final
MIA 15
KAN 34
Final
CAR 19
PIT 37
8:30pm Tonight
NYJ
CHI