ST.LOUIS(AP) SanDiegocenterfielderFernandoTatisJr.droppedNolan Arenado’s bases-loaded popup and heaved the ball home, leading to a five-run first inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Padres 8-7 Sunday for an eight-game win- ning streak.
Tatis’ brutal error and mental mistake he chose not to make an easy throw to second or third for a forceout ó came one day after his dugout dustup with teammate Manny Machado.
St. Louis completed a three-game sweep and opened a three-game lead for the second NL wild card over Cincinnati and Philadelphia, which played at the New York Mets later Sunday. The Cardinals had not won eight in a row since Aug. 7-15, 2018.
St. Louis was 8 1/2 games out of a wild card spot on Aug. 10.
“It’s been very big for us, every victory that we’ve had ever since that time.” Cardinals shortstop Edmundo Sosa said through a translator. “That’s been our mindset going into this, to be able to win series and be able to win games. We’re just going to continue doing what we’re doing right now.”
St. Louis loaded the bases with no outs in the first when Tommy Edman dou- bled, Paul Goldschmidt singled and Tyler O’Neill walked.
Arenado hit a pop to center that Tatis settled under 226 feet from the plate and allowed to bounce out of his glove. Rather than throw to second or third for an easy forceout, the 22-year-old center fielder with the $340 million, 14-year contract rushed a one-hop throw that reached the plate well after Edman scored standing up.
Dylan Carlson followed with a sacrifice fly, Sosa hit an RBI double and Harrison Bader greeted Stammen with a two-run double for a 5-0 lead.
“A lot of great at-bats,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We didn’t think they were just going to roll over. They’re going to give you their best bolt, they did, and we were able to fend them off.”
Alex Reyes (9-8) allowed one run over two innings to win in relief of J.A. Happ, who gave up three runs and four hits in four innings. Giovanny Gallegos struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 18 chances.
Cardinals: RHP Jake Woodford (2-3, 4.30 ERA) will start the first game of a four game series in Milwaukee Monday night..