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10/07/06 9:00 PM ET

Padres Short Hops: Game 3

Young's pitching, Branyan's clutch hit help Padres survive

ST LOUIS -- Fielding the Padres' big win on a short hop ...

In < 25 words ...
Chris Young silenced the Cardinals offense and the Busch Stadium crowd, helping the Padres avoid elimination with a Game 3 win.

Frozen moment
With two on and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning after Young struck out Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds hit a drive to left field that carried ... and carried ... but was caught at the warning track by Dave Roberts, who slammed into the wall.

Big numbers
Twenty-seven. The Padres have stranded that many runners on base through the first three games of the series. They stranded 14 on Saturday, but the solid pitching and Russell Branyan's clutch hit in the fourth excused another poor offensive performance.

Game balls
Young, five. Someone finally figured out a way to retire Pujols! Young held the slugger to 0-for-3 over the first six innings, including a pair of strikeouts.

Branyan, three. A notorious free swinger, Branyan came this close to swinging at a low and away pitch from Cards starter Jeff Suppan with one out and two strikes against him in the fourth. Instead, Branyan checked his swing, and delivered a two-run double on the next pitch. Branyan then scored on a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 Pads lead.

Khalil Greene, one. San Diego manager Bruce Bochy mulled using the injured Greene (finger) as the starting shortstop for Game 3, but stuck instead with Geoff Blum. But Greene entered the game for defense in the sixth, and his presence on the field had to be a bit of a boost for San Diego.

Sense of October
The crowd, a sea of red as usual at Busch Stadium, tried to get the Cards back into the game in the sixth, standing as Pujols came to the plate. But just like the Padres fans in Games 1 and 2, they were left disappointed.

Lines of the Game
3 AB, 3 H, BB, SB, S
Comment: Roberts has been the Padres' lone hot hitter through the first three games (6-for-11), but has scored only one run.

6 2/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K
Comment: Young held the Cardinals' Nos. 2-6 hitters to 0-for-13 with seven strikeouts.

"This is just a start. We know it's going to be tough and there's still a lot of work to do." -- Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, who needed seven pitches to get through a perfect ninth inning for the Game 3 save.

Next step
The Padres will once again try to stave off elimination when the teams return to Busch Stadium on Sunday.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.