Major League Baseball postseason

Cardinals jump out early but Padres cut lead to 4-2 in 4th

Lefthander Austin Gomber walked another run home but then struck out both Trent Grisham and Fernando Tatis Jr., as Game 2 got a lot tighter at Petco Park.

Matt Carpenter, who had been 12 for 25 (.480) with three homers against Davies, doubled to right and, with one out, Harrison Bader, who had whiffed five times in a row on Wednesday, singled to center.

Wainwright escaped a two-on, one-out spot in the San Diego third by getting Fernando Tatis Jr., on a checked-swing, foul-tip strikeout and then he froze Machado with a called strike on a full count and it remained 4-0.

Only former Cardinal Reggie Sanders, playing for Cincinnati, and George Pipgras of the 1932 New York Yankees, had fanned five times in a postseason game.

Counting the final game of the regular season, Bader has six consecutive strikeouts, all swinging, after tripling and homering in his first two at-bats against Milwaukee on Sunday.

A Cardinals win, either Thursday by Adam Wainwright, or on Friday behind Jack Flaherty, will propel them to next week’s division series likely against Los Angeles, but possibly Milwaukee.

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