SAN DIEGO -- Usually, winning pitchers don't tear up with emotion.

But the weight of losing a close friend and two teammates at the trade deadline Thursday afternoon seemed to take a toll on St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller.

"It's tough to lose two guys like that," Miller said of right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig, who were traded to Boston for right-handed pitcher John Lackey.

Rookie right fielder Oscar Taveras hit a two-run homer in the second inning and left fielder Matt Holliday broke a tie with a two-run, two-out single in the third to lift the Cardinals to a 6-2 victory over the San Diego Padres that salvaged the third game of a three-game series.

"Joe and I came up through the system together," Miller continued. "This was an emotional day."

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said, "We had to fight through some emotions today."

Miller, meanwhile, held the Padres to two runs -- second-inning homers by second baseman Jedd Gyorko and right fielder Will Venable -- and three hits in six innings to even his record at 8-8.

"The solo homers got him on the edge," Matheny said of Miller. "After that, he made some great adjustments. He got stronger."

Miller said, "My cutter was good today. I felt I was in control."

Perhaps it was the way the message was received more than the message itself that made the day so emotional for the Cardinals -- and in particular Miller.

News of the Lackey trade was reported on the televisions in the St. Louis clubhouse at Petco Park before Kelly and Craig were officially notified. After the game, the clubhouse remained closed for more than 25 minutes as club officials met individually with players to discuss how the news of came down.

As Miller spoke after the game, his eyes teared up.

"Joe is my best friend," said Miller, who will likely slip to the back of the Cardinals' rotation with the acquisition of Lackey and right-hander Justin Masterson, who was acquired from Cleveland a day earlier.

Adam Wainwright remains the ace of the staff. Lackey moves into the No. 2 slot. After that, it gets murky with Lance Lynn, Masterson and Miller in the next three slots ahead of Carlos Martinez, with Ken Wacha on the disabled list for at least another month.

The Cardinals, who lost the first two games of the series to slip into third and 2 1/2 games behind Milwaukee in the National League Central race, return to Busch Stadium to host the Brewers for a three-game series starting Friday night.

Taveras, 22, who figures to see more action with the departure of Craig, put the Cardinals ahead with his 350-foot drive to right field off Padres right-handed starter Odrisamer Despaigne. With two out in the second inning, recently acquired catcher A.J. Pierzynski singled. Taveras immediately followed with his second homer of the season.

"He needed that shot in the arm," Matheny said of Taveras' homer.

The Padres tied the score in the bottom of the second inning as both Gyorko and Venable homered in a second straight game.

Gyorko went the opposite way with a 371-foot drive into the right field stands. Two hitters later, Venable pulled a 360-foot drive into the right-field stands. Gyorko and Venable each had a homer and four RBIs in the Padres' 12-1 win over the Cardinals on Wednesday night.

Third baseman Matt Carpenter started the Cardinals' two-run rally in the third inning with a one-out single. Second baseman Kolton Wong followed with a double. Both scored on Holliday's single to center.

The Cardinals scored two more runs off Despaigne in the sixth.

First baseman Matt Adams opened the inning with a single and the Cardinals loaded the bases when Despaigne hit shortstop Jhonny Peralta with a pitch before walking Pierzynski. The Padres almost got out of it when Taveras lined into a double play.

But center fielder Peter Bourjos singled home Adams and Pierzynski scored his second run of the game on a bases-loaded walk to Carpenter.

Despaigne allowed six runs, nine hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings. It was the first time the Cuban native had allowed more than two earned runs in seven major league starts.

"He just couldn't wiggle out of some difficulties," Padres manager Bud Black said of Despaigne. "They just sort of bunched some hits together against him. That just sort of happens."