Chad Gaudin would get his first start in three years at the major league level and he would do it against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Despite the daunting task of taking on the team with the best record in baseball, Gaudin (W, 1-1) went six innings allowing just two earned as the San Francisco Giants (30-27) beat the Cardinals (37-19) by a final of 4-2. Gaudin had allowed four hits total to the Cardinals lineup while also getting five strikeouts.
“It was nice,” Gaudin said of his start, “I made a couple of minor league starts, but it was refreshing to get back out there and do that.”
The two runs that Gaudin did allow were via a two-run home run by David Freese in the 4th inning. That tied the game at 2-2 as the Giants had scored two runs earlier in the game. Their first run came in the 2nd as Joaquin Arias scored from 3rd on a double play and then Hunter Pence hit an RBI double in the 3rd allowing Buster Posey to score from 2nd.
Posey would end up going 4-4 on the day with two doubles.
The tie would be broken after what would be Gaudin’s last inning in the bottom of the 6th. Coming in to pinch hit for Gaudin, Brandon Belt hit a two-run double in the 7th. Belt had only two hits in eight at bats in the series, both of them doubles.
Despite Belt hitting his two run double off of reliever Randy Choate, Tyler Lyons (L, 2-1) would get credited with all four earned runs as he lasted 6 1/3 innings.
The rest of the game was relatively quiet for either side. The Giants threatened a bit in the 8th with a couple of singles to lead off the inning. However, Cards reliever Victor Marte would recover from that and get Brett Pill to strike out swinging followed by getting Joaquin Arias to ground out into a double play to end the threat.
Giants closer Sergio Romo would come in with 2 outs in the 8th after Jeremy Affeldt allowed a single by Matt Carpenter. Romo would get Cards catcher Tony Cruz to strikeout swinging to end the inning.
Cruz had to replace Yadier Molina in the 4th inning after Molina argued with 1st base umpire Clint Fagan about a close play at 1st base to the end the 3rd. Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford made a diving play to grab Molina’s grounder and then threw him out at 1st. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was also thrown out of the game for arguing the call.
As for Romo, he would come back for the 9th and allowed just one hit to Allen Craig as he finished off the Cardinals for his 15th save of the year.
The first two games of this series did not go the Giants’ way at all with both games being played on Saturday due to stormy weather on Friday night.
The early afternoon game had Shelby Miller (W, 6-3) and the Cardinals blanking the Giants with an 8-0 win. San Francisco starter Matt Cain (L, 4-3) allowed seven runs on nine hits, all of which came in the 3rd inning.
The late game had Madison Bumgarner (L, 4-4) giving up five runs in six innings as St. Louis took that one as well by a final of 7-1. Adam Wainwright (W, 8-3) pitched a complete game for the Cardinals allowing just the one run while striking out ten.
The Giants leave St. Louis and come home for a brief two game series with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays before hitting the road again. San Francisco’s probables are Tim Lincecum (3-5) and Barry Zito (4-3). Toronto’s probables are Josh Johnson (0-1) and R.A. Dickey (4-7).
Johnson hasn’t pitched since April 21st due to inflammation in his right triceps muscle. The Blue Jays have announced that Johnson will start against the Giants Tuesday night.
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Written by Daniel Trucios