ST. LOUIS — The slow pace betrayed Lance Lynn's uncertainty. Though he reached 11 wins at the All-Star break for the second straight year in the St. Louis Cardinals rotation, nothing much has gone his way lately.
After Lynn labored through five innings in a 5-3 loss to the San Diego Padres on Saturday night, manager Mike Matheny reminded himself that the 26-year-old right-hander still has a lot to learn.
"He's had a couple weird starts and when those start to compound you've got to stop and regroup, and it didn't look like he was able to do that tonight," Matheny said. "It was pretty slow and it was talked about, but you also don't rush a guy when he doesn't have a good feel for his fastball.
"That wasn't how we drew it up."
Lynn (11-5) allowed four runs and lost for the fourth time in five starts. He gave up some solid hits and the Padres had some well-placed hits, too.
"When you look at the runs I gave up, they were tough runs to give up," Lynn said. "When you make a pitch and it's a broken-bat hit to the third baseman, it's tough. When you get a nubber back to you and he gets a hit, that's tough.
"It's just kind of the bounces of the game that's kind of the stretch I'm in right now."
Nick Vincent, Dale Thayer, Luke Gregorson and Huston Street worked an inning apiece after Edinson Volquez (7-8) faded at the end of a five-inning outing. Street was perfect in the ninth for his 16th save in 17 chances after Carlos Quentin's RBI double off Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth put the Padres up by two runs.
Allen Craig had a two-run single and 29-year-old rookie Brock Peterson had an RBI groundout in his first major league at-bat after getting called up to replace injured Matt Holliday.
"Just his whole story is pretty special, how he's persevered through his career," Matheny said. "Today was a rewarding day for him, just to put on this uniform and stand out there for the (National) Anthem, let alone get an opportunity to walk on the field and actually contribute."
Jedd Gyorko, Everth Cabrera and Nick Hundley added an RBI apiece for San Diego, which had lost 19 of 23.
A sellout crowd of 45,288 showed up in 92-degree heat, enticed by Red Schoendienst replica jersey giveaways. The 90-year-old Cardinals Hall of Famer was honored with a video tribute before the third inning as he watched the game from a private box.
The Padres had nine base runners the first three innings while taking a 4-0 lead, scoring twice in the third on a run-scoring wild pitch on a 2-2 pitch against Hundley followed by Hundley's broken-bat infield hit.
Volquez retired the first nine batters in order, then allowed three runs on four hits, two walks and two wild pitches in the fourth and fifth. He lost his previous two starts and hasn't lasted longer than 5 1-3 innings his last three outings.
Lynn has been an 11-game winner prior to the All-Star break both years in the St. Louis rotation, benefiting this year from an offense averaging nearly six runs per start. He's been out of sync lately, giving up 10 runs in 9 1-3 innings his last two starts.
Notes: Adam Wainwright (12-5) goes for his league-leading 13th win in the series finale Sunday with Eric Stultz (8-7) going for the Padres. ... Cardinals outfielders combined for four sacrifice hits for the first time in franchise history Friday, two bunts by Jon Jay and two sacrifice flies by Carlos Beltran. ... Peterson led the Pacific Coast League with 22 homers. ... Cardinals RHP Chris Carpenter labored in his second rehab start Saturday night, giving up four runs on nine hits in 3 1-3 innings for Memphis. Before the game, general manager John Mozeliak said he wasn't sure how much time Carpenter would need.