ST. LOUIS — Garry Templeton still incurs the wrath of Cardinal baseball fans, although the boos he has heard since being traded in 1982 from St. Louis to San Diego have subsided somewhat.
"I enjoy coming to St. Louis," Templeton said. "I had some good times here and met some good people here. I think there's still some fans out there."
If so, Templeton showed them something Saturday night, as his three-run home run in the second inning propelled the Padres to a 4-1 victory over St. Louis.
The last-place Padres now are only one game behind the fifth-place Dodgers, who lost to the Mets, 4-3, at Dodger Stadium Saturday night.
Templeton's homer, his first in Busch Stadium since he joined the Padres, provided the bulk of the offense, and starter Mark Grant (6-7) was steady if not stellar in gaining his fifth victory as a Padre. Greg Mathews (9-9) was the loser.
"This outing means a little more for Grant because it came against a team that's in first place," Padre Manager Larry Bowa said. "You can't catch a team like this (the Cardinals) with their intensity level down."
Grant got into trouble in the first inning, but he struck out Jack Clark with two on and one out, then retired Willie McGee on a grounder to first.
"Striking out Clark in that situation might have been the key point in the game," Grant said. "If he gets a hit there, the whole inning changes."
Grant fell behind in the count to Clark, 3-0, but battled back.
"I threw him a fastball, a split-finger and a fastball high and away," Grant said. "I threw the split-finger well tonight. I was throwing it for low strikes more than moving it in or out."
Grant got another key strikeout, this time against Tom Herr, to stop a Cardinal rally in the fifth inning.
With Clark on deck and Ozzie Smith on first, Grant struck out Herr on a full count.
Lance McCullers came on in relief of Grant after Dan Driessen's single opened the eighth.
McCullers retired all six batters he faced, striking out three, to earn his 14th save.
The Padres scored once in the seventh. Templeton started the inning with a double and stopped at third base when Luis Salazar's blooper dropped in front of left fielder Vince Coleman, who misplayed the ball. But center fielder Willie McGee quickly relayed the ball to the infield.
Right-hander Lee Tunnell replaced Mathews and struck out Grant. Tunnell then intentionally walked Tony Gwynn to load the bases. Shane Mack attempted to lay down a squeeze bunt, but catcher Tony Pena pounced on the ball in time to tag out Templeton. Pena hesitated, then threw to first base in an attempt to double up Mack. Clark was standing to the inside of the bag, and the throw skipped under his glove and into right field. Salazar scored, with Gwynn and Mack advancing to third and second, respectively.
Clark and Cardinal Manager Whitey Herzog argued that Mack's bunt was foul. Television replays indicated Mack's bunt bounced up and hit his bat a second time, which would have been a foul ball. Clark eventually was thrown out of the game and replaced by Driessen.
Stanley Jefferson, who replaced Carmelo Martinez in left field in the sixth, flied out to end the inning.
The Cardinals apparently were still fuming over the play after their turn at bat. At the conclusion of the seventh, third base coach Nick Leyva was ejected and Herzog was ejected as the Cardinals came to bat in the eighth.
St. Louis tried to get its running game going in the fifth. Coleman opened the inning with a double down the left-field line but was thrown out by catcher Benito Santiago when he tried to steal third base. This season, Coleman, who leads the major leagues with 94 stolen bases, has been thrown out three times, twice at third base, by Santiago.
The Cardinals scored their only run in the third. Mathews led off with a walk. Coleman looped a soft liner to left and was credited with a double when the ball bounced over the head of Martinez.
Mathews scored on a wild pitch by Grant, Coleman moving to third. Coleman held at third when Smith grounded out to Templeton, but Herr walked.
Padre Notes A paid crowd of 49,555 was the second largest this season for the Cardinals, who are striving for the three-million mark in attendance. It was largest ever to witness a Padre game in St. Louis. . . . The victory stopped the Padres' losing streak at four games and improved the team's record to 9-8 in its last 17 road games. . . . The scheduled starters for today's (11:15 a.m. PDT) game are Eric Show (6-15) for the Padres and John Tudor (5-2) for the Cardinals.
PADRES AT A GLANCE
Scorecard SECOND INNING Padres--Kruk struck out. Santiago doubled and took third on a wild pitch. Ready walked. Templeton hit a three-run homer, his third, to left. Salazar walked. Grant sacrificed. Gwynn reached on a fielder's choice, Salazar out trying to score from second.
THIRD INNING Cardinals--Mathews walked. Coleman doubled to left, Mathews stopping at third. Mathews scored on a wild pitch, Coleman stopping at third. Smith grounded to shortstop. Herr walked. Clark struck out. McGee flied to left.
SEVENTH INNING Padres--Templeton doubled. Salazar doubled to left, Templeton stopping at third. Tunnell replaced by Mathews. Grant struck out. Gwynn intentionally walked to load the bases. Mack reached on a fielder's choice to the catcher, Templeton out at home, but Salazar scoring, Gwynn taking third and Mack taking second on catcher Pena's throwing error. Jefferson flied out to left.