It was Cardinal's slugger Albert Pujols who apparently had something else in mind having never hit a home run in San Francisco. That is, until Tuesday night. Pujols launched a three-run bolt, his first career homer at AT&T Park, while Juan Encarnacion drove in three runs as St. Louis defeated the Giants 8-5.
The Cardinals offense came out swinging against their former teammate Matt Morris in the top of the first. Following successive singles by David Eckstein and Scott Spiezio to lead off the game, Pujols drilled a three run homer into the left-field bleachers giving St. Louis a 3-0 lead. It was Pujols 23rd homer of the season.
The Giants came right back in the bottom half of the inning against St. Louis starter Jason Marquis. Randy Winn got things started lining a double into the left-field corner. With one out, Steve Finley roped his eighth triple of the year into the right-center field gap driving in Winn. Bonds then came up and ripped a RBI single to right to pull San Francisco within 3-2. Bonds went 1-for-4 on the night and remains tied with Babe Ruth for second on the all-time home run list with 714.
St. Louis added a run in the top of the third when Morris (3-5) hit Spiezio with a pitch to begin the inning. After a two-out walk to Jim Edmonds, Juan Encarnacion hit a ball over Bonds head in left as Spiezio came around to score putting the Cardinals in front 4-2.
The Giants' defense, having been solid of late, would let Morris down in the fifth. With Spiezio at first, and one out after Scott Rolen singled to center, Edmonds reached on an error when Jose Vizcaino mishandled a ball thrown by Pedro Feliz, loading the bases for Encarnacion. Encarnacion promptly hit a single up the middle just underneath Vizquel's glove, as two runs came in to score making it 6-2 St. Louis.
Morris (3-5) who came to Giants in the off-season after spending nine years with St. Louis, struggled in his first appearance against his former team, allowing four earned runs and eight hits in six innings.
Marquis (6-4) settled down after the rough first inning retiring the next 10 batters he faced until San Francisco got to him again in the sixth. With one out, Randy Winn blistered his fifth homer of the year, a two run shot to right to close the gap to 6-4.
The Giants loaded the bases when Marquis attempted to finish off the game. Marquis was pulled for closer Jason Ishringhausen, who walked Mike Matheny for the Giants' fifth run. With one out, Vizcaino was pulled in favor of Todd Greene, who flied out. Kevin Frandsen grounded out to end the inning and hope for the Giants.
San Francisco, which lost for just the second time in eight games, will look to win the series Wednesday afternoon when Noah Lowry (1-1, 3.38 ERA) takes the hill against last year's CY Young award winner Chris Carpenter (4-2, 2.63 ERA) @ 12:35 pm.
Game Notes: The Giants placed reliever Tim Worrell on the 15 day DL with a neck strain and recalled Brian Wilson to take his spot on the roster. Wilson pitched in tonight's game and allowed one hit... Lance Niekro hit off a tee before the game and hopes to be activated when the Giants travel to Florida to begin a three game series against the Marlins on Monday... Jose Vizcaino made his fourth consecutive start at first base.
SFDugout's Player of the Game: Randy Winn had two hits including a two-run homer in the sixth—it was his fifth long ball of the season.
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