SAN DIEGO -
Clayton Richard pitched seven strong innings and rookie Yasmani Grandal singled home the go-ahead run to lift the San Diego Padres over the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Wednesday, handing the slumping World Series champions their 11th loss in 15 games.
The Cardinals began the day with a one-game lead over Los Angeles for the second NL wild-card berth. The Dodgers, who played later at Arizona, host St. Louis in a crucial four-game series starting Thursday night.
St. Louis put a runner on third with one out in the ninth but was unable to score. World Series MVP David Freese and pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker both grounded out.
Logan Forsythe hit a solo home run for the Padres, who completed a three-game sweep of St. Louis for the first time since August 1995.
The Padres begin a three-game series at Petco Park with the Colorado Rockies on Friday.
Before Saturday's game, the team will recognize the achievements of Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman and unveil a statue in his honor.