Pujols, Cards Push Padres to Brink

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SAN DIEGO — Not even San Diego native David Wells could save the Padres, who appear to be headed for their same ol’ postseason fate against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds hit RBI singles off Wells in the fourth inning and Jeff Weaver held the popgun Padres in check to lead the Cardinals to a 2–0 win yesterday at Petco Park and a 2–0 lead in the division series.

The two-time NL West champion Padres spoke about going deep into this postseason. Heck, if they don’t start hitting the ball, they might not go deep into this weekend.

San Diego has now lost nine straight postseason games dating to its World Series sweep at the hands of the Yankees in 1998.

Pujols got three more hits after homering in the 5–1 victory in Game 1.

Weaver, dumped by the Los Angeles Angels with a 3–10 record, and four relievers combined on a four-hitter. The Padres have only 10 hits in the first two games and are 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Game 3 is Saturday at St. Louis. Game 4 would be Sunday, if necessary, but history suggests otherwise. St. Louis, which barely avoided one of the biggest September collapses ever, improved to 8–0 in the postseason against San Diego. That includes division series sweeps last year and in 1996.

In those eight games, San Diego has led for only four innings, all in Game 3 in 1996. They ended up losing that game 7–5 when Brian Jordan, who made a spectacular diving catch in the eighth inning, hit a two-run homer off Trevor Hoffman in the ninth, with the ball landing in a palm tree beyond the left-field fence at Qualcomm Stadium.

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