for this game

Padres, Cardinals meet in battle of division leaders

Sep 25, 2006 - 2:28 PM San Diego (83-72) at St Louis (80-74) 8:10 pm EDT

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Two division leaders meet when the San Diego Padres take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the first game of a three-game series on Monday.

Although the Padres hold a slim 1 1/2-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, they have been the hotter team of the two, winning their last four games and nine of 12 overall.

A late-season slide by the Cardinals has not cost them the NL Central lead yet, but it has made it interesting as they sit just 3 1/2 games ahead of Houston following a four-game sweep at the Astros.

Overall, St. Louis has dropped five straight games and 13 of 22 games in September.

The Padres will start rookie Mike Thompson (4-5, 4.77 ERA), who will be taking the mound in place of an injured David Wells. Thompson has struggled on the road this season, going 3-3 with a 6.32 ERA in 10 games - seven starts - away from home.

Wells was scratched with a sprained right ankle that started bothering him as he got off the team flight on Sunday. San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said the big lefthander was limping noticeably and was even worse on Monday.

St. Louis turns to Jeff Suppan (12-7, 4.07), who is coming off an outstanding performance against Milwaukee on Wednesday. Although he yielded six hits in seven scoreless innings, the righthander got no support as the Brewers claimed a 1-0 victory.

Capping a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday, San Diego closer Trevor Hoffman set the all-time saves record with his 479th, surpassing Lee Smith.

Jeff Weaver allowed three runs in six innings, but the bullpen fell apart behind him as the Cardinals absorbed a 7-3 loss at Astros on Sunday.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!