When a Cy Young Award candidate hangs a curveball and a sixth position hitter is there to see it, does it make a run? 

Well, not usually. But at PETCO Park Tuesday night, the San Diego Padres nabbed a win from one of baseball’s finest starters when Jerry Hairston Jr. turned a pitch by Adam Wainwright into a solo home run and a 1-0 win for the NL West Division leaders.

Using a deadly arsenal of pitches, Wainwright struck out 12 and gave up only four hits and one earned run in seven innings. Wainwright’s Excalibur—the sharply breaking curveball—caused the most damage.

But one curve failed to perform its ravenous duty, and that made all the difference.

Cardinal batters could not cover for Wainwright’s one mistake, as the Padres’ pitcher put on a show of his own.

Veteran right-hander Jon Garland earned his sixth win this season, giving up six hits and striking out seven in seven innings. 

Although Albert Pujols went 3-for-4 with three singles after a hitless series against the Los Angeles Angels, the Cardinals did nothing more than hit singles, stranding a handful of base runners and hitting into multiple double plays.

On Wednesday night, the Cardinals will rely on rookie Jaime Garcia, whose strong numbers (a 4-2 record and 1.28 ERA) may give the quiet Cardinal bats the confidence to get loud again.

Perhaps the most desired spectacle for Cardinal fans would be a home run by Pujols or Matt Holliday. The two sluggers have hit only one homer each this month, leaving their fans anxious for an offensive revival of their highly touted bats. 

The remaining two games in San Diego and a first series in Chicago later this week will give Cardinal fans an idea as to whether the backbone of their 2010 team will be its pitching or its hitting.

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