(Sports Network) - Leaving the bay area has paid off for the San Francisco
Giants, as they target a series win this afternoon against the St. Louis
Cardinals in the finale of a four-game set from Busch Stadium.
The Giants went 3-7 on a recent homestand before sweeping the Colorado Rockies
at Coors Field to kick off a seven-game road swing. They have won two of the
first three matchups with the Cardinals and hammered the hosts by a 15-0 score
Wednesday night behind a big night from Marco Scutaro. Scutaro had three hits,
including a grand slam, and seven RBI.
Buster Posey, who entered the game with an MLB-best 30 RBI since the All-Star
break, was 1-for-2 with a run scored to push his hit streak to 12 games and
Hunter Pence added two hits and a pair of RBI for the National League West-
leading Giants, who are still 1 1/2 games ahead of Los Angeles after the
Dodgers defeated the Rockies last night.
Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong scattered three hits and walked three batters
over seven scoreless innings for the win, while lowering his NL-leading earned
run average to 2.27.
"I was trying to pitch like it was 0-0 the whole time," Vogelsong said.
San Francisco will return home to face Colorado and Washington after
Thursday's game and is slated to send Madison Bumgarner to the mound in the
finale of this road trip. Bumgarner is 5-5 in 12 road assignments this season
and 12-6 with a 3.03 earned run average in 22 starts overall.
Bumgarner ended a three-start winless (0-1) drought his last time out in an
11-6 win at the Rockies, tossing six innings of one-run ball and striking out
seven batters. He has fanned at least seven batters in four straight starts.
The left-hander lost to the Cardinals on May 16 this season in a 4-1 setback
at AT&T Park, where he yielded four runs in 7 1/3 frames. Bumgarner is 2-1
with a 3.38 ERA in three career starts against St. Louis.
St. Louis has lost two in a row since winning four straight and six of seven
games. It will try to put Wednesday's embarrassing loss in the rearview mirror
after starting pitcher Joe Kelly was shelled to the tune of seven runs, four
of which were earned, and nine hits in five innings.
Relievers Brian Fuentes and Mitchell Boggs both allowed four runs.
"We have to have a short memory of this one and look forward to getting back
out here tomorrow," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said afterward.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina had his 11-game hitting streak snapped, while
Jon Jay and Matt Carpenter had two hits apiece in the 15-4 difference in hits.
St. Louis hopes Skip Schumaker, Allen Craig and Rafael Furcal will be able to
return to action Thursday due to various ailments.
The Cardinals fell to 3 1/2 games off the Wild Card and hope Adam Wainwright
can pitch them to a series split this afternoon. Wainwright is coming off a
superb performance in which he allowed one run and five hits in going the
distance in a 6-1 win over Milwaukee on Saturday. He struck out seven and did
not walk a batter, improving to 9-10 in 22 starts with a 4.03 ERA.
Wainwright is 2-0 in his past three outings, but lost at San Francisco on May
17 this season. He gave up five runs -- two earned -- in 5 2/3 innings of a
7-5 setback and is only 1-4 with a 3.35 ERA in seven career games (5 starts)
against the Giants.
St. Louis will visit Philadelphia for three games over the weekend.
The Cardinals and Giants split two games at AT&T Park back in May, but San
Francisco has won eight of the past 12 meetings between the clubs.
The Sports Network