Game Report: Cardinals 2, Padres 1

The Cardinals had Tommy Pham back in the starting lineup and Bud Norris back pitching in the ninth inning Thursday night, both of which were very positive developments.

After missing the last three games, Pham returned and hit his sixth homer of the year and scored both runs and Norris improved to eight for eight in save situations with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to preserve the win for Miles Mikolas over the Padres in San Diego.

Norris had been out since having to leave the Cardinals’ game last Saturday because of triceps tightness

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Pham led off the game with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a passed ball before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Jose Martinez … His homer in the fifth increased the lead to 2-0 … The Cardinals had just six other hits, all singles, two of which did not leave the infield … Two of the hits came from Marcell Ozuna … Matt Carpenter was 0-of-4 and struck out three times, dropping his average to .147.

On the mound: Mikolas did not allow a run until the seventh inning, when he gave up a two-out homer to Raffy Lopez that knocked him out of the game … He improved to 5-0 by scattering five hits while striking out four… He did walk a batter after a streak of facing 101 consecutive batters without issuing a walk. He has only walked three batters in 46 2/3 innings this season … Jordan Hicks relieved to get the final out in the seventh before Greg Holland worked around a two-out walk in the eighth.

Key stat: Carpenter got the start at third base despite the fact Jedd Gyorko posted a .500 average (18-of-36) with seven homers in 10 games against his former team the last two years. Gyorko is expected to play in the two games against left-handed pitchers in the series.

Worth noting: Carlos Martinez was placed on the disabled list before the game because of a right lat strain and will miss at least one start. He had been expected to start Tuesday night in Minneapolis … Taking Martinez’s place on the roster is frequent traveler Mike Mayers, back again just two days after he was optioned to Memphis … Adam Wainwright threw a bullpen session before the game and he checks out physically on Friday will come off the DL and start on Sunday … The Cardinals have not said who will start the two games in Minnesota next week. John Gant is still on the roster but because of Monday’s day off they have other options as well, including promoting Jack Flaherty from Memphis. A pitcher will have to be sent out before Wainwright is activated … Brett Cecil threw a scoreless inning for Memphis on Thursday night … Former Cardinals prospect Allen Cordoba, selected by the Padres in the 2016 Rule 5 draft, is on the 60-day DL as he recovers from a concussion suffered in a car accident in February. He has resumed hitting off a tee at the Padres’ spring training complex but there is no timetable on when he will be able to play.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals and Padres will play the second game of the four-game series on Friday night with Luke Weaver on the mound.