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Wacha pitches 6 solid innings, Piscotty has 2 HRs and 5 RBIs as Cardinals beat Padres 10-3

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SAN DIEGO — Looking to avoid getting swept for the first time this season one night after getting shut out, and the St. Louis Cardinals struck early and often.

Piscotty homered twice and drove in five runs and pitched six solid innings to help the Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 10-3 Sunday.

had three hits as St. Louis improved its major league-leading record to 78-45 and averted a sweep.

"We all knew today was an important day to bounce back," Piscotty said. "Every game is important, but everyone had a great game, hit the ball hard, and had a lot of energy. That's what we're going to keep going with the momentum."

Wacha (15-4) picked up his fourth straight win and added to his career-best win total by allowing just one run on four hits. He struck out three and walked two.

"I definitely would say my stuff wasn't as sharp as it had been," Wacha said. "Those guys were putting together some good at-bats and I had to work out of some jams and letting the defense play behind me. They were making plays all night."

The Cardinals scored four in the first against rookie , who was making his third start.

San Diego made two errors in the first inning and the Cardinals capitalized with three hits, including Piscotty's two-run triple.

"It was a lot of fun out there," Wacha said. "The offense exploded for a lot of runs, and made my day easy out there. It was a fun day."

Rea (2-1) struggled early and made a throwing error in the first that contributed to the Cardinals' rally. The 25-year-old Rea gave up five runs — four earned — over four innings. He struck out four and walked two.

"I think for the most part, I wasn't very efficient," Rea said. "I threw a lot of pitches to each hitter. I think that was the biggest thing."

The Cardinals scored three runs in the seventh against . Heyward tripled home a run and Piscotty hit a solo shot to left.

Piscotty, who had been hitless in 10 at-bats coming into the game, hit a two-run shot against in the ninth for Piscotty's first career multi-homer game.

"(Piscotty) made the most of a few big opportunities and had a nice day," Cardinals manager said. "He just had a nice overall approach. He needed to kind of right the ship."

singled home two runs in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.

"This game looks like a blowout, and for all practical purposes it was, but we had some great at-bats," Padres manager said. "I think one inning we had four line drives and came up empty."

had two hits for the Padres, who had won five straight.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: C is day-to-day with a left wrist contusion after X-rays following Saturday night's game were negative.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: RHP (9-8, 2.94) will take the mound in the series opener in Arizona on Monday, looking to reach 10 wins for the fourth straight season. The D-Backs counter with LHP (2-9, 3.38).

Padres: RHP (9-5, 3.74) opens the series on Tuesday in Washington going for a second straight win. Shields shut out the Braves over six innings in his last start. Washington will counter with RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-6, 4.22).

PHOTO: St. Louis Cardinals' Mark Reynolds, left, slides in safely to home, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Matt Carpenter, as San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges misses the throw during the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
St. Louis Cardinals' Mark Reynolds, left, slides in safely to home, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Matt Carpenter, as San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges misses the throw during the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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PHOTO: St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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