- Associated Press - Sunday, August 17, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A two-day trip to the bench has seemed to work wonders for St. Louis outfielder Oscar Taveras.

The highly touted rookie had two hits on Saturday night in the Cardinals’ 9-5 loss to San Diego.

Taveras did not start on Thursday and Friday while mired in a 3-for-23 skid. He did pinch-hit in Friday night’s win and had an RBI single.

That effort helped him wrestle the starting spot back from Shane Robinson.

“I used those days off to work hard in the cage, and work hard with the coaches,” Taveras said through an interpreter. “I think it helped. I felt pretty comfortable out there tonight.”

Taveras, who was recalled on July 1 for the second time this season, doubled in Jhonny Peralta in the second inning Saturday night to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. He also singled in the sixth.

“I’m not swinging at bad pitches, like I was before,” he said.

Taveras is hitting .219 with two homers and 14 RBIs. He had a seven-game hitting streak from July 31-August 7. He said he feels as though he is close to regaining that form.

“I hope I’ve got things going again,” he said.

Jedd Gyorko got it going for the Padres with his third career grand slam and drove in five runs.

Gyorko’s eighth homer came on an 0-1 pitch from Kevin Siegrist (1-3) with one out in the seventh. The Padres had loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Gyorko’s drive to left.

Rain then halted play later in the inning. The game was delayed 1 hour, 46 minutes and only a handful of the crowd of 44,079 stayed to watch the finish.

The Cardinals, who had won three in a row, dropped three games back of Milwaukee for the NL Central lead. The Brewers beat Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers 3-2.

Alex Torres (2-1) earned the win when he got the last out in the sixth in relief of rookie starter Jesse Hahn. San Diego won for the sixth time in its last eight games.

“We get some offensive production early on; it’s hard to see that go away,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “We had two really rough innings that made for a bad day.”

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