The San Diego Padres have had to deal with some of the best pitchers in the NL lately, though they don't appear to be facing as tough of a challenge in their series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Padres will try for their fourth win in five games when Tyler Lyons makes his major league debut for the visiting Cardinals on Wednesday night.After beating Washington's Jordan Zimmermann on Saturday and St. Louis' Shelby Miller in the series opener Monday, San Diego (21-24) finally met its match in a 10-2 loss against Adam Wainwright on Tuesday."They've still got some big hitters over there, though, so you never can get too comfortable if they've got a lineup with some guys who can do some damage," Wainwright said.The Cardinals (29-16) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Padres, limiting them to one extra-base hit after San Diego had 10 during its three-game winning streak.The Padres' Jedd Gyorko went 3 for 4 with his team-leading 12th double. Chris Denorfia has gone 8 for 17 while recording at least a hit in four consecutive games.It's uncertain if teammate Carlos Quentin will play Wednesday after sitting out the last game with a balky right knee.Although St. Louis' starters have a major league-best 2.64 ERA, they had posted a 5.08 ERA in the previous seven games before Wainwright's gem Tuesday.Due to injuries to Jake Westbrook and Jaime Garcia, Lyons gets his chance after the left-hander went 2-1 with a 4.47 ERA in eight starts at Triple-A Memphis."We talked about everything," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "Lyons is the right guy right now."Burch Smith (0-0, 15.63 ERA) hasn't been able to take advantage of a similar opportunity with the Padres, and his spot appears tenuous with Clayton Richard expected to rejoin the rotation soon.Making his second career start, the right-hander gave up five runs and six hits -- three home runs -- over 5 1/3 innings of a 6-5 loss to Washington on Friday.It was an improvement over his debut, in which Smith allowed six runs in one-plus innings of an 8-7 road loss to Tampa Bay on May 11.Smith will face a St. Louis team that may be without third baseman David Freese for a third straight game after he was spiked in the thumb Sunday.Daniel Descalso filled in nicely Tuesday, delivering his first grand slam and recording three hits and a career-high five RBIs. He had batted .161 over his previous 26 games.Carlos Beltran went 2 for 5 with two RBIs and is 8 for 18 in his last four road games, while Allen Craig is 8 for 19 in his last five overall.The Padres will be trying to wrap up their seven-game homestand with a winning record.