Hundley, Richard power Padres past Cardinals

SAN DIEGO -- A rare win by San Diego against St. Louis had a little bit of everything, including catcher Nick Hundley down at second base tagging everyone he could.

Hundley hit a three-run homer, Clayton Richard won his third straight decision and the Padres played solid defense in beating the Cardinals 4-0 on Friday night.

The NL Central-leading Cardinals had beaten San Diego nine straight times, including a three-game sweep last weekend in St. Louis, and 17 times in 22 games.

Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse (5-8) left after straining his left groin running out a single in the fifth inning. Lohse could be heading to the disabled list for the second time this season.

A key moment came after Brendan Ryan and Albert Pujols singled opening the fourth for St. Louis. Matt Holliday took a called third strike and Pujols charged into second base, but Ryan returned to the bag. Hundley ran all the way to second, tagged both runners and Pujols was called out by umpire Todd Tichenor. Ryan was safe.

Hundley thought Ryan might have been off the bag when he tagged him.

"At least we got one," Hundley said. "Tag everyone and let him sort it out."

Hundley said he and the other catchers had worked on that situation during spring training with bench coach Ted Simmons, an eight-time All-Star catcher.

"It took 100 games to happen, but we got it done," Hundley said.

"I was fortunate today how well our defense played behind me," Richard said. "A couple of big double plays, a really heads-up play by Nick behind the plate with the strikeout and then not just throwing the ball when he saw all those runners, but actually taking care of it himself."

Manager Bud Black liked it, too.

"You don't want to just fire the ball," Black said. "It looked as though, as the play kept developing, that Pujols was just going to keep going. You don't want to turn that into a fire drill. It was well-played by Nick. We played a clean game. We really did."

Richard (3-0) beat the Cardinals five days after getting a no-decision in San Diego's rain-delayed, 7-5 loss at St. Louis. He left that game in a 3-3 tie in the fourth.

It was San Diego's third shutout, tying the Padres with Chicago and Washington for the fewest in the NL.

Richard was pulled after walking Mark DeRosa leading off the seventh. He held St. Louis to five hits while striking out six and walking three. He was one of four pitchers acquired by San Diego from the Chicago White Sox for Jake Peavy on July 31.

Three relievers held St. Louis hitless the rest of the way.

Richard got all the support he needed when Hundley homered deep into the seats in left field on a full-count pitch from Lohse with no outs in the second. Will Venable hit a leadoff double and fellow rookie Kyle Blanks a single before Hundley's fourth homer.

It was Hundley's first homer since going deep against San Francisco's Barry Zito on May 19. Hundley was on the disabled list from June 18-Aug. 12 with a sprained left wrist.

Kevin Kouzmanoff hit an RBI single in the eighth, and David Eckstein was thrown out trying to score on the play.

Lohse singled to right with two outs and appeared to get hurt about halfway down the line. He was examined by a trainer, and manager Tony La Russa also came out to check on the right-hander.

"That's got to be shocking if it's not disabling," La Russa said. "He's had a rough year."

Lohse was out from June 4-July 11 with a strained right forearm flexor, his first trip to the DL in his eight-year big league career.

"I was running to first and I felt it grab," Lohse said. "I don't think it's too bad. But it was enough that I wasn't going to keep going."

Joel Pineiro, who got the decision in St. Louis' 5-1 win against San Diego on Thursday night, came on as a pinch-runner.

Lohse allowed three runs and four hits in four innings, struck out three and walked two.

Game notes
Lohse is 0-5 with a 6.58 ERA in eight road starts. He is 1/3 with a 6.25 ERA in six career starts against San Diego. Eight of his last 10 decisions have been losses. ... Pujols is 4 for 19 in five games against San Diego this year.