The Cardinals will be put to the
test to win their sixth consecutive series at the start of the season. For the
first time this year, they lost Game 1 of a series when they played a far from
crisp game Friday night in
The Cardinals were just 1-for-12 with men in scoring position, with Yadier Molina driving in a run with a sixth-inning single. "We had our shots," said manager Tony La Russa. "We did a good job of creating chances."
Entering the game, the Cardinals were the top defensive team in the National League, committing only eight errors in 15 games. But a throwing error by shortstop Brendan Ryan -- the one-hop throw got past first baseman Albert Pujols -- allowed one run to score and a botched double-play ball by second baseman Skip Schumaker helped the Giants to two runs in the third inning. Pujols also was indecisive after fielding a slow roller in the third and and Nate Schierholtz beat the play for a run-scoring hit.
After taking on the best pitcher
both the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets had to offer, rookie left-hander
Jaime Garcia wasn't able to beat
"I was leaving the ball up a little," Garcia said.
Cardinals hitters struck out 12 times, with Pujols having his third multi-strikeout game in three weeks. Cleanup man Matt Holliday left runners in scoring position in both of his first two at-bats, including hitting into a double play on a 3-0 pitch to end the third. Holliday is two for 19 (.105) with men in scoring position.
"I wanted him swinging," said La Russa. "That's why I gave him the green light."
GIANTS 4, CARDINALS 1: The Cardinals had eight hits and three walks against San Francisco RHP Tim Lincecum and successors but could muster just one run. Only C Yadier Molina had more than one hit for the Cardinals.
--INF Felipe Lopez, still bothered by a sore right elbow, which wasn't helped by his pitching an inning last Saturday, didn't start for the third straight game. Lopez pinch hit in the ninth and struck out.
--LHP Jaime Garcia got his first major-league hit, an infield single in the fifth inning. Despite suffering his first big-league loss, Garcia still has a 1.42 earned run average and is holding opponents to a .190 batting average. He also induced 12 ground-ball outs in six innings.
--OF Nick Stavinoha, who has become the Cardinals' pinch hitter, got his third pinch hit in 10 at-bats. Stavinoha kept the game alive with an infield single in the ninth.
--C Yadier Molina, the slowest player in the regular lineup, stole his second base of the season -- without a throw. Molina, who is good at picking his spots, had nine thefts last year.
BY THE NUMBERS: 652 -- Pitches thrown in the Cardinals' 2-1, 20-inning loss to the Mets on April 17.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I've got to say
that's up there with one of the highlights of my career. That was something I
always wanted to do -- to go on the mound and see how that felt. It was pretty
awesome." -- INF Felipe Lopez, on his first professional pitching appearance. He
threw a scoreless inning against
--INF Felipe Lopez (sore right elbow) didn't start April 21-23 because of some lingering soreness from an injury he suffered about 10 days before. He pinch hit April 23 but still has soreness.
--C Jason LaRue (strained right hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 12. He might return in late April.