San Francisco, CA – The Giants canceling batting practice might be something they should consider everyday. They scored six runs in the third and chased rookie pitcher Luke Weaver off the mound.
San Francisco’s 8-2 victory over the Cardinals keeps them ahead in a tight wild-card race.
The Giants have won back-to-back games at home for the first time since Aug 18th-19th against the New York Mets.
It started off as a pitcher’s duel for the first two innings. Matt Moore scattered two hits over three frames allowing no runs. Weaver struck out the first four batters before giving up single to Brandon Belt in the second.
Brandon Crawford followed by hitting into a double play to end the inning. But by the third, Weaver unraveled.
“Really, when you think about it, that’s the name of the game in the playoffs, too: see who can make the fewest mistakes and take advantage of them,” Belt said in regards to Molina’s error.
He loaded the bases with a walk to Denard Span. Moore reached first safely after a throwing error by Yadier Molina. And that’s when San Francisco’s offense took advantage of Molina’s mistake. Angel Pagan was issued a free pass to load the bases with one out. This was the first opportunity the Giants had with runners in scoring position. Joe Panik’s sacrifice fly scored in Span for the 1-0 lead.
“He makes that play 99 out of 100 times,” said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said of Molina (who declined to speak to media after). “We’ve seen him do it. We want him aggressive trying to make the best play he can make. We had a great chance of getting out of there without the top of the order coming around.”
Buster Posey drove in both Moore and Pagan with a bloop single over second baseman Jedd Gyorko. Hunter Pence followed with a single and Belt’s two-run double extended San Francisco’s lead 5-0. Crawford continued the hits and knocked a single to right field. Stephen Piscotty threw home to tag Belt out at the plate.
Home plate umpire, Cory Blaser ruled him out but the Giants challenged the tag play. After further review the call was overturned and Belt was safe at home to make it a 6-0 game. The Cardinals ran back on the field after heading to the dugout after the initial call. Weaver was replaced by Miguel Socolovich.
San Francisco lost an earlier call they challenged in the second. Aledmys Diaz was ruled safe at first despite Crawford making a throw to first base for the out. Socolovich gave up back-to-back walks to both Eduardo Nunez and Span before striking out Moore to end the threat. The Giants continued to make it difficult for St. Louis bullpen by adding on two more runs.
“Sometimes you can’t put your finger on it,” Posey said. “There seems to be a really good energy in the dugout… And I sound like Hunter Pence right now. But hopefully it’s something we can carry with us for the remainder of the season and through the postseason.”
Jaime Garcia replaced Socolovich to start the fourth. Garcia walked Pagan to lead off the frame and Posey followed with a two-run homer to make it a 8-1 game. It was Posey’s first home run in two months snapping the longest homeless drought of his career. He is now 7-for-9 in this series with a double and a home run.
The Cardinals scored their first run in the fourth with a RBI single. Moore got himself into a jam in the fourth but managed to get out of it without too much damage. He walked the leadoff batter then gave up back-to-back singles to Gyorko and Molina. Moore then forced Johnny Peralta to fly out, struck out Randal Grichuk and Tommy Pham leaving three stranded.
But a rocky fifth inning sent Moore to the dugout for good. He lasted five frames allowing seven hits, two runs walked two and struck out four. Moore loaded the bases again by giving up two singles and walked another batter. A free pass to Molina, walked in St. Louis next and final run. That was the finale for Moore and the bullpen took over.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy canceled batting practice yesterday so the team can get a break from the field. The decision came down after the team lacked hits in the previous series against the San Diego Padres. Well, it worked! Last night Johnny Cueto tossed a complete game to help San Francisco beat the Cardinals 6-2. Not only did it put them four games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.
But it also keeps them ahead of the Cardinals who now trail behind two games in the wild-card spot. And the New York Mets who are now behind by one game. Call it superstition or just a good feeling. But Bochy canceled BP again today in hopes that his team can pull out another win and they did. He announced no BP for Saturday’s game either.
“It’s all about bouncing back,” said Bochy. “You have no choice in this game and that’s what good teams do. You get frustrated come home and get swept. You can’t let that linger on…”
Notes – Gregor Blanco was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list today. He missed 22 games with right shoulder impingement. Blanco made 56 starts this season (18 in the left field, 13 in center and 25 in right). He’s 7-for-32 with a home run and three walks as a pinch-hitter this year.