ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — Wednesday night’s game for the Cardinals (33-24) was a particularly big one for the home team, and they came up short in extra innings as the San Francisco Giants (30-25) came back twice to win 7-5.
With the news that clean-up hitter Matt Holliday is going to be out of the lineup for a couple of weeks, many wondered how the Redbird’s offense would respond. Especially against the likes of two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum.
The Giants made comebacks in the sixth, ninth, and went ahead for good in the eleventh. The Cardinals last had a lead due to Daniel Descalso’s triple and Allen Craig’s two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh, and that was the difference at the time.
Unfortunately, those heroics went to waste in the top of the ninth when the Giants spoiled Fernando Salas’ perfect save record. Tony LaRussa was asked if he saw anything different in Salas:
Aubrey Huff, who hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh, got on base with a walk. The speedy Emmanuel Burriss pinch-ran for Huff and the move paid off. Burriss stole second and one pitch later, Nate Schierholtz brought him with a RBI single to tie the game 5-5.
In extra innings, Cardinals reliever Ryan Franklin was looking for a second consecutive night of solid work, but came up as he allowed the game-winning run in the eleventh. Franklin would end up earning his fourth loss.
Freddy Sanchez got to second with a ground-rule double. After getting the second out, Nate Schierholtz lined a base hit to right field allowing Sanchez to score and give the Giants a 6-5 lead. Brandon Crawford would single home another to run two batter later to make it 7-5.
Facing Tim Lincecum (5-5, 2.59) was surging starter Jake Westbrook (5-3, 5,15) who was looking for his fourth consecutive win. That did not happen, but Westbrook kept San Francisco hitters at bay for the first five innings giving his club a chance to defeat Lincecum and the Giants. Westbrook wound up going 5.2 innings, struck out 4, and allowed 3 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks.
LaRussa gave his ‘two cents’ on Westbrook’s start:
The Cardinals gave Westbrook a lead in the third when Ryan Theriot extended a team-best plus a league-best 15-game hitting streak with a RBI single. Giants catcher Eli Whiteside assisted in the runs scored in the fourth when he could not block a wild pitch allowing the Cardinals to go up 3-0 after Skip Schumaker made it 2-0 with a RBI single.
In the sixth inning, the Giants offense quickly put together three hits that would eventually lead to 3 runs and the end of Westbrook’s night. Andres Torres, the hero from the Giants 7-3 win on Monday, tied the game with a slicing RBI double down the left field line.
Miguel Batista was the first Cardinals reliever out of the bullpen. He was able to end the threat in the sixth, but would surrender the lead in the seventh when Aubrey Huff tattooed a home run off of Batista’s name on the ribbon board just above the Cardinals bullpen.
When he’s actually given run support, Tim Lincecum will more than likely win a game. That was not the case on Wednesday as Cardinals’ hitters were patient and opportunistic against one of the best pitchers in the game. Lincecum went 6.1 innings, he struck out 10, and allowed 5 runs on 10 hits and a home run. He said he liked his stuff, was upset about blowing the lead, but enjoyed watching his teammates when he was done:
Daniel Descalso has been very clutch in the past few weeks, and more recently, Allen Craig. Without Holliday, Craig’s role becomes that more important. Since Holliday’s injury on May 19, Allen Craig has hit .428 (15-35) with 2 home runs, 4 doubles, and 8 RBI’s.
NOTES…Lance Lynn, a 2008 first-round pick by the Cardinals, will make his Major League debut against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday evening…With two outs in the bottom of the eleventh, umpire crew chief Tim Welke put the game on delay due to half of a bank of lights going out on the first base side of the stadium…The broadcast on Thursday for the Charter Communications Pregame Show on KMOX 1120 AM will begin at 6:20pm.
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