Photo is credited to Scott Kane of the Associated Press.
For three games over the weekend, the Cardinals and Giants squared off at Busch Stadium in their first series of the season.
Game One: Giants 5, Cardinals 1 WP: Johnny Cueto (9-1) LP: Adam Wainwright (5-4)
Though the Giants’ starter had an uncharacteristically lackluster outing in terms of his command, Johnny Cueto and the Giants nabbed a victory in St. Louis over the Cardinals on Friday night by a 5-1 score.
The Cardinals scored one run off Cueto during his six-inning outing, and it was the unintentional product of Brandon Belt’s third-inning throwing error. Cueto — who walked fourteen batters in 81 2/3 innings (eleven starts) prior to Friday — surrendered five walks to the Cardinals in the first game of the series, though they did not come back to bite him since St. Louis managed only four hits off the right-handed pitcher.
The Giants carried a one-run lead for much of the ballgame by stringing together base hits from Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford against Adam Wainwright in the third inning to plate two runs.
San Francisco added three more runs to their half of the run column in their final turn to bat by capitalizing on the offset Trevor Rosenthal, who walked the bases loaded in the top of the ninth without recording an out.
Game Two: Cardinals 7, Giants 4 WP: Tyler Lyons (2-0) LP: Jeff Samardzija (7-4) SV: Trevor Rosenthal (9)
With four runs of support, Jeff Samardzija cruised through the Cardinals’ batting order until he hit a bump in the road in the middle innings, resulting in four home runs from St. Louis and a 7-4 win.
The Giants scored four earned runs against Michael Wacha through five innings, including a tally that came when Joe Panik doubled just two batters into the game.
To lead off the Cardinals’ half of the fifth, Brandon Moss hit a home run to plate St. Louis’s first run. With two outs and a pair of runners on, Aledmys Diaz crushed a 3-0 Samardzija delivery off the left-field foul pole, sending a jolt through Busch Stadium and tying the game.
Samardzija got out of the fifth inning, but the struggles continued in the sixth when Stephen Piscotty homered on the first pitch he saw to give the Cardinals a lead they would not cough up. Matt Adams followed with an insurance long ball to knock Samardzija out of the game and put him in line for a loss that he overall did not deserve.
-Prior to Saturday’s 7-2 win, the Cardinals announced that they expect to activate Jhonny Peralta off the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, June 7.
Game Three: Cardinals 6, Giants 3 — WP: Carlos Martinez (6-5) LP: Jake Peavy (2-6) SV: Trevor Rosenthal (10)
Four six-inning runs backed the Cardinals as they took the rubber game of their three-game set with the Giants on Sunday night.
With a two-run lead in the bottom of the sixth, Jake Peavy allowed back-to-back doubles to Matt Carpenter and Aledmys Diaz, shrinking his lead to one run. Peavy walked Matt Holiday and was lifted from the game in favor of Hunter Strickland.
Strickland hit Stephen Piscotty with his first (and last) pitch of the evening before Javier Lopez allowed a game-tying single and was pulled for Cory Gearrin. Gearrin allowed two more runs to score, one on an error and the other on a force play.
St. Louis’s bullpen took it over from there, firing three scoreless innings to preserve a series-winning game and Carlos Martinez’s sixth personal victory of the year.
Giants: The Giants will return to their home in San Francisco on Monday and then welcome the Boston Red Sox in for a pair of meetings.
Cardinals: Following an off day on Monday, the Cardinals will begin a three-game series in the Queen City with the Reds.