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The San Francisco Giants were looking to avoid the sweep Thursday afternoon at AT&T Park at the hands of the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards took the early lead but the Giants as Matt Cain struggled early, but the offense continued to battle throughout the day, eventually rallying to take the 7-5 victory at a blustery AT&T Park.
Cain was struggling from the get go, giving up a pair of sacrifice flies in the first inning to give St. Louis the early 2-0 advantage. Buster Posey would answer back with an RBI single in the bottom of the frame, then taking the lead in the second after a Brandon Crawford two RBI single.
Matt Holiday would launch a two-run homer off of Cain in the third to retake the lead 4-3, but the Giants had a lot more fight in them.
San Francisco would plate two runs the sixth after an Emmanuel Burriss sacrifice fly and a David Freese throwing error would score another run. They added two more in the seventh inning as well, including Charlie Culberson's first big-league RBI with a fielder's choice.
Jeremy Affeldt worked a perfect seventh, though Sergio Romo would give up his first RBI of the season when Yadier Molina took him deep to straight away center in the eighth. But it was too little too late for St. Louis as Santiago Casilla finished with the save in the ninth.
Cain (W 3-2) would earn the win despite struggling a bit through his six innings of work, giving up four runs on eight hits, while Adam Wainwright (L 2-5) took the loss after his 5.1 innings, giving up five runs (two earned). The Giants had RBI from five different players, while Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Buster Posey all had multi-hit games.
The Cardinals were giving the Giants their chances all afternoon, including three errors in the game and nine walks from their pitching staff. They also suffered a blow to their bullpen as reliever Kyle McClellan left in the middle of an at bat in the seventh inning with an apparent injury.
For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.
(Insert snarky Brandon Crawford comment here)
Yes folks, it's true. Brandon Crawford will bat second this afternoon for the San Francisco Giants. It has come to that. Skipper Bruce Bochy is hoping the change of scenery will do Crawford some good, who is 4-19 (.211) over his last seven days, including one double and three runs scored.
Brandon Belt will get the nod at first base, batting sixth, while Gregor Blanco continues his role as the leadoff hitter pushing Angel Pagan down to fifth in the order. Emmanuel Burriss gets the start at 3B as Joaquin Arias is still out with a wrist contusion. Buster Posey will catch Matt Cain, while Melky Cabrera returns to the lineup after getting some time off yesterday with a toe issue.
Your San Francisco Giants:
Gregor Blanco RF
Brandon Crawford SS
Melky Cabrera LF
Buster Posey C
Angel Pagan CF
Brandon Belt 1B
Emmanuel Burriss 3B
Charlie Culberson 2B
Matt Cain P
Cain (2-2 2.28) has been pitching much better than his record shows, earning the win in his last start in Arizona after six innings on one run ball. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny actually caught Cain's first game back when he was the Giants catcher from 2005-06.
"I remember catching his first game and I've seen him develop into a superstar," said Matheny, who in 2005-06 caught Cain while with the Giants. "He would follow Jason Schmidt and myself around and ask questions."
He'll be going up against Adam Wainwright (2-4 6.16) who's been up and down after missing all of 2011, lasting only 4.1 innings in his last start, giving up five earned runs en route to his fourth loss of the year. He is 1-3 in four games (three start) at AT&T Park with a 4.32 ERA and a .312 BAA.
First pitch is set for 12:45 pm PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Jaime Garcia threw 7 1/3 innings of one- run ball and the St. Louis Cardinals downed the San Francisco Giants, 4-1, in the opener of a two-game series on Wednesday.
Garcia (3-2) scattered nine hits and struck out nine without issuing a walk to get the win. Fernando Salas and Marc Rzepczynski combined to finish the eighth and Jason Motte worked around a base hit in the ninth to secure his seventh save of the season.
David Freese finished 3-for-4 with a solo home run, Skip Schumaker had a pinch-hit, two-run double and Allen Craig contributed an RBI for the Cards, who have won two straight since dropping four in a row.
Madison Bumgarner (5-3) allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out three without walking a batter in 7 1/3 innings to absorb the loss.
Buster Posey had an RBI single among his three hits for the Giants, who have dropped their past two games.
With the game tied at one, Freese put the Cards ahead for good in the seventh when he barreled up a hanging curveball from Bumgarner and sent it over the wall in left for a 2-1 St. Louis lead.
Garcia helped his own cause with a single in the eighth and Furcal followed with a double into the right field corner to put runners on second and third. Schumaker then ripped a double down the left field line to score Garcia and Furcal for the 4-1 advantage.
Nate Schierholtz laced a single into right to start the San Francisco ninth, but Motte fanned Brandon Crawford and induced a fly out from Aubrey Huff before striking out Emmanuel Burriss to end the game.
Earlier, St. Louis opened the scoring with a run in its first at-bat. Furcal led off with a single up the middle and Tyler Greene followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. After Matt Holliday lined out, Craig grounded into a fielder's choice, which allowed Furcal to score.
San Francisco produced a run in the sixth to tie the game. Gregor Blanco beat out a bunt single to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Charlie Culberson. Angel Pagan then reached on an infield hit to put Giants on first and third with one down and Posey slapped a single back up the middle to plate Blanco.
Entering Wednesday, Bumgarner had won each of his last eight home starts...17 of the Giants' first 18 games at AT&T Park have been decided by three runs or fewer...San Francisco fell to 4-12 when scoring fewer than four runs in a game this season...Bumgarner fell to 2-1 in three career starts against the Cardinals...The Giants finished 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight...Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran missed his third straight game due to right knee discomfort.
For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.
Lineup change for #SFGiants. Melky Cabrera scratched with left toe injury. He had started every game.— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 17, 2012
Cabrera will be replaced with Nate Schierholtz in right field, batting sixth.
New #SFGiants lineup: Blanco LF, Culberson 2B, Pagan CF, Posey C, Pill 1B, Schierholtz RF, Crawford SS, Bumgarner SP, Burriss 3B
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 17, 2012
Cabrera has been playing very well this season, batting .333 with two HR’s, 16 RBI’s and a .867 OPS. Hopefully this won’t be a major concern as the Black and Orange are severely depleted do to injury already.
Many San Francisco Giants fans were hoping to catch a glimpse of Carlos Beltran tonight when the G-Men square off with the St. Louis Cardinals, but unfortunately will not be starting for the third straight game due do some knee soreness.
Skipper Bruce Bochy has pieced together a lineup this evening consisting of Gregor Blanco back in the leadoff spot, playing right field, while youngster Charlie Culberson gets the start at second, batting second. Angel Pagan is in the five hole once more, while Brett Pill gets another start at first base as Brandon Belt continues to sit against lefties.
Your San Francisco Giants:
St. Louis Cardinals:
First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
The San Francisco Giants are fresh off a 9th inning collapse Tuesday night, while the St. Louis Cardinals enter tonight's meeting fresh off a walk-off victory of their own. Now these two turn their attention to one another as the The G-Men and Cards get ready for battle at AT&T Park.
Madison Bumgarner will take the mound for San Francisco, looking to bounce back after having his five-game win streak broken by the Arizona Cardinals his last time out. The D-backs are the lone team to beat the big lefty this year (twice in fact), though has given up just six earned runs in his other five starts this season.
He will square off against the diminutive Jaime Garcia, who has been getting hit a bit harder as of late. He's given up 11 runs in his last 11.2 innings pitched, with six of those coming in the first inning of his starts.
Injuries have been an issue for both clubs this season. Carlos Beltran, the Giants midseason acquisition last season, is looking likely for this series after missing the last two starts with a sore right knee, while Lance Berkman is making his way back from a calf injury that sidelined him for a few weeks on the DL. As for center fielder Jon Jay, he was placed on the DL a few days ago with a sprained shoulder.
As for the already short-handed Giants, infielder Joaquin Arias was lucky that his X-rays were negative after taking a pitch right off his left wrist last night against Colorado.
First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
The 2010 & 2011 World Series Champs get it on in a two-game set at AT&T Park as the Cardinals visit the Giants. For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.