They’ve done it again.
Just when you wanted to count them out of a game, the San Francisco Giants came from behind once again, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 to open a seven-game road trip.
The Cardinals got on the board first against Ryan Vogelsong. Matt Carpenter singled to open up the bottom of the first, and after Vogelsong struck out Kolten Wong and Matt Holliday, Allen Craig doubled home Carpenter to make it 1-0.
That wouldn’t last too long, as San Francisco decided to take the lead for themselves. Michael Morse led off with a solo home run to left-center field. His eleventh bomb of the year leads the team, is sixth in the National League, and tied the game at one. With one out, Brandon Hicks singled, moved to second on a Brandon Crawford groundout, and scored when Gregor Blanco singled to right. Blanco was eventually caught in a run down between first and second but not before the Giants had a 2-1 lead.
Vogelsong labored in the fourth, and it led to yet another lead change. Holliday led off with a single, and Craig and Yadier Molina took back-to-back walks to load the bases. Jhonny Peralta grounded into a double play to tie the game at two, and Jon Jay followed it up with a single to center to make it 3-2.
Pablo Sandoval tied the game in the top of the sixth when he crushed his eighth home run of the year to centerfield. It marks the ninth straight game in which Sandoval has notched an RBI, making him the first Giant to accomplish such a feat since Barry Bonds in 2000.
Unfortunately for San Francisco, Vogelsong couldn’t hold the lead, and the Cardinals took it back in the bottom of the inning on a solo shot off the bat of Craig.
Though it wasn’t his strongest performance, Vogelsong gutted out six-and-a-third innings of work, giving up seven hits, four runs, three walks, and struck out five. He threw 101 pitches, 63 going for strikes. For the Cardinals, starter Jaime Garcia gave a quality starter, tossing seven innings and allowing five hits, three runs, no walks, and striking out seven on just 84 pitches (59 strikes).
It looked as if the Giants would have to settle for losing game one in St. Louis, but the never-say-die offense reared its head once again in the top of the eighth. Blanco led off the inning with a single off of Carlos Martinez and stole second with one out. Angel Pagan then singled him home, tying the game at four. With two outs, Martinez intentionally walked Sandoval and was replaced on the mound by Trevor Rosenthal, who promptly gave up the go-ahead, two-out double to Morse. Morse now leads the National League in two-out RBIs (21), and these two were huge, giving San Francisco a 6-4 lead heading into the ninth.
The Cardinals made it interesting against Sergio Romo. With one out, Jay singled and with two outs, Daniel Descalso walked. Carpenter singled to bring St. Louis to within one, but Shane Robinson popped out to end the game, and Romo earned his 17th save of the year. The Giants are now 35-19 and owners of the best record in MLB.
These two storied franchises will meet again on Friday night, sending two aces to the mound. Madison Bumgarner (6-3, 3.15) will take on Adam Wainwright (8-2, 1.67).