With the help of a late lighting delay, the Cardinals stretched it out as long as they could, but finally they fell to the San Francisco Giants 7-5 in 11 innings Wednesday night.
With the count 2-1 on Allen Craig, two outs and a man on in the bottom of the 11th, a bank of lights near home plate, on the first base side, went out. Play was halted for 16 minutes until the lights cooled and then re-booted. It then took just one pitch for Craig to ground out to end the game.
Craig had been a hero in the seventh when his two-run homer off Giants ace right-hander Tim Lincecum had given the Cardinals a 5-4 lead.
But right-hander Fernando Salas, called on a lot lately, gave up a run in the ninth to force extra innings. Right-hander Ryan Franklin, losing his fourth game in five decisions, allowed two runs in the 11th, aided by a throw home from the outfield that was not cut off.
Salas, a second-year reliever who has been one of the keys to the Cardinals' run to the NL Central lead, suffered his first blown save out of 11 opportunities.
"He may not have been quite as strong. He may not have been quite as sharp," manager Tony La Russa said.
The Cardinals had taken an early 3-0 lead against two-time Cy Young winner Lincecum before the Giants rallied for three in the sixth off Cardinals right-hander Jake Westbrook
"We did everything we could, but not enough," La Russa said. "Big contributions, but not enough."
NOTES AND QUOTES
The brief lighting outage Wednesday was caused by a "bad breaker," according to Joe Walsh, director of security and special services for Busch Stadium. Walsh said the system would be reviewed in its entirety before Thursday night's series finale.
LF Matt Holliday and RHP Kyle McClellan both will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday. McClellan, who suffered a left hip flexor strain Monday, will be replaced on the roster by RHP Lance Lynn, who has been at Class AAA Memphis. Holliday, whose strained left quadriceps hasn't healed satisfactorily, will be replaced by somebody else in the system.
Holliday has played only a couple of games in the outfield in nearly three weeks. "The sooner we get the clock started on that (disablement), the better," GM John Mozeliak said. "There are a couple options (for replacing Holliday). We can bring up a more offensive-minded player or can look at adding someone who's a little more versatile."
RHP Lance Lynn, a
supplemental first-round pick in the 2008 draft, will be called up to make his
major league debut Thursday night against San Francisco. The 6-foot-5
LHP Jaime Garcia, who
endured a beating at
RF Lance Berkman is in one of his first dry spells of the season. Berkman is hitless in his last 13 at-bats, dropping his average to .329, the lowest it has been since April 20.
LF Allen Craig had faced
San Francisco RHP Tim Lincecum only once in the major leagues before hitting a
two-run homer off the Giants ace in the seventh inning. But the two had been
Pacific 10 Conference rivals at
BY THE NUMBERS: .394 - 3B Daniel Descalso's average in "close and late" situations (seventh inning on in tight games). He is hitting .241 overall.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It wasn't that he felt something. It's that he didn't feel better."
- Manager Tony La Russa, on injured LF Matt Holliday, who finally will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday.
LF Matt Holliday (strained left quadriceps) left the May 22 game and did not play May 23-25. He was used as a pinch hitter May 27-28, then sat out May 29. He returned to the lineup on May 30 but then was a late scratch May 31 and struck out on three pitches as a pinch hitter. He will be placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 1.
RHP Kyle McClellan (left hip flexor strain) will be placed on the disabled list retroactive to May 31.
C Gerald Laird (broken right index finger) went on the 15-day disabled list May 23. He will be out until July.
INF Nick Punto (right forearm flexor strain) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18.
3B David Freese (broken left hand) went on the 15-day disabled list May 2. He had surgery May 3, and he is expected to be out until mid- to late July.
RHP Bryan Augenstein (strained right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list April 13. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 16.
RHP Adam Wainwright (Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25. He will miss the entire 2011 season.
June 2 vs. GIANTS: Lance Lynn (0-0, 0.00) vs. Jonathan Sanchez (3-3, 3.38) 7:15
p.m. CDT (MLB Network, FOX Sports