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SAN DIEGO (AP) - Clayton Richard pitched seven strong innings and rookie Yasmani Grandal singled home the go-ahead run to lift the San Diego Padres over the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Wednesday, handing the slumping World Series champions their 11th loss in 15 games.

The Cardinals began the day with a one-game lead over Los Angeles for the second NL wild-card berth. The Dodgers, who played later at Arizona, host St. Louis in a crucial four-game series starting Thursday night.

St. Louis put a runner on third with one out in the ninth but was unable to score. World Series MVP David Freese and pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker both grounded out.

Logan Forsythe hit a solo home run for the Padres, who completed a three-game sweep of St. Louis for the first time since August 1995.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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