The Bottom Line: Following a surprising acquisition of John Lackey from the Red Sox for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly, the Cards played inspired baseball with a 6-2 victory over the lowly Padres. Rookie Oscar Taveras started the scoring with a two-run homer in the second inning, and after two Padres solo homers, Matt Holliday responded with a two-run single in the third to give the Cards the lead for good. Peter Bourjos hit a two-out RBI single in the sixth, and Matt Carpenter walked with the bases loaded to give the Cards two more insurance runs to avoid the sweep in San Diego.

Taveras and Offense Show A Spark: In the wake of the Allen Craig trade to the Red Sox, Taveras made quite the statement as the new everyday right fielder with a two-run blast to give the Cards an early lead. It was just his second homer of the season, and first since he homered in his Major League debut in May. Overall, the Cards bats came alive today with ten hits and six runs after scoring just one run in each of the past three games.

Oscar Taveras hit a two-run shot to give the Cards a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning.

Shelby Miller Shines: Aside from giving up two solo homers in the second inning, Shelby Miller (8-8. 4.14 ERA) had one of his best starts of the season to nab his eighth win of the season. Miller only allowed one hit other than the homers, and he issued zero walks against a Padres team that obliterated the Cards pitching staff last night.

What’s Next: The Cards begin a pivotal three-game series against the NL Central-leading Brewers tomorrow night at Busch. In a game that features each team’s win leader, Adam Wainwright (13-5, 1.92 ERA) will look to deliver a series-opening win when he faces off against Wily Peralta (12-6, 3.56 ERA).