After Morris departed after delivering six innings, Dave Roberts homered in the seventh against Brad Thompson, and Ramon Hernandez -- in what might have been his final at-bat as a Padre with free agency awaiting -- went deep against Julian Tavarez in the eighth.The Padres threatened in the ninth against closer Jason Isringhausen, who got the last out of the eighth. But as in Game 1 at Busch Stadium, it was not enough noise, not soon enough. A walk by pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney leading off and Loretta's one-out single raised hopes, but Isringhausen struck out Giles looking at a 3-2 curveball and handled Klesko's comebacker on a shattered bat to close the game and the series. "They tried to bury us, and we tried to come back," Young said. "But that's a tall order, to come back against a closer like that and a team like that." The Padres had hoped to get their fans involved by seizing an early lead, but that plan was quickly foiled. The Cards came out swinging against Woody Williams, with Eckstein singling on the game's second pitch. Eckstein scored when Albert Pujols stroked a 3-0 pitch to deepest right-center for a one-out double. Williams kept the deficit at 1-0, but it quickly mushroomed in the second after the Padres went down in order against Morris. Yadier Molina began the uprising with a one-out single to right, but was forced out at second by Williams on Morris' bunt. On a 2-0 pitch, Eckstein found a pitch to his liking and lifted it over the fence in the left-field corner. Edmonds followed with a double into the right-field corner. After Pujols was walked intentionally, Williams hit Walker with an 0-2 pitch. Sanders, who feasted on the Padres in St. Louis with eight RBIs, lashed a double into the left-field corner, delivering a pair of runs to emerge as the all-time RBI kingpin in a single NLDS with 10. That was the end of Williams' night. The toll was five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings after Brian Lawrence retired Mark Grudzielanek to leave two runners stranded. The Padres' three starters in the series -- Jake Peavy, Pedro Astacio and Williams -- lasted a total of 10 innings. The Cards pushed their lead to 7-0 in the fifth against Clay Hensley on singles by Grudzielanek and Abraham Nunez and a two-run single by Molina. "They did a good job capitalizing on opportunities all series," Hoffman said. "They did a lot of things well. We brought the winning or tying run to the plate each time we played them, but this just shows that you've got to play the baseball game all the way through, all nine innings." The Padres amazingly ended up outhitting the Cards in the series, .302 to .284, but were outscored, 21-11. With his 10 RBIs, Sanders almost outproduced the Padres by himself. "That 0-3 record might say otherwise," Hoffman said, "but the guys didn't quit." Asked how he would assess the 13th season he's worn the Padres uniform, Hoffman didn't hesitate. "We had a lot of ups and downs," he said, "but any time you get to the postseason, it's a success."
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less