New month, same story: the San Francisco Giants relied on their solid starter and strong swings at the plate as the offense jumped ahead early and never looked back. The combination of the two let San Francisco take the series with a 8-0 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.
The Giants took the series thanks to another sparking performance from Tim Hudson and a few miscues from the Cardinals’ defense. Three straight singles from Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence and Buster Posey pushed across San Francisco’s first run, but there was plenty more to come in the first inning. A fielding error from second baseman Kolten Wong interrupted away a potential double play that could have ended the inning. Instead, the Giants were able to score three more, and Lance Lynn was up to 35 pitches before St. Louis could get to the plate.
Lynn was roughed up early, hurting his knee when trying to cover first before the Wong error. He lasted just 3.1 innings after his complete game shutout against the New York Yankees last Tuesday. Lynn finished his day with eight hits, seven runs (four earned), four walks and two strikeouts.
On the other side, Hudson continued his excellent 2014 season with seven shutout innings, holding the Cardinals to just three hits while walking two and striking out six. The two walks were uncharacteristic for the starter, but he was able to get out of each inning unscathed. Another nervewracking moment occurred in the third inning, when Hudson hit the Cardinals’ Allen Craig in the helmet. After several batters being hit by pitches in this series, Hudson checked in with Craig to make sure he was okay and that the pitch was unintentional.
Today’s outing marked the ninth of his eleven starts with seven innings or more of work, and has allowed just eight walks over 77.1 innings of work. After today, he lowered his ERA to 1.75: second best in the league.
Hudson didn’t have to worry about run support as the Giants put up eight runs thanks to hits up and down the lineup. After sitting three days to rest the tightness in his lower back, Posey came back strong in his first game of the series, going 3-for-5 with to runs scored and that RBI in the first inning. Gregor Blanco also succeeded at the plate on Sunday afternoon, going 2-for 4 with a single, RBI triple, and a walk. Even with the late scratch of Michael Morse, the production from just about the entire lineup is a great sign for the season moving forward.
The Giants finished May with a National League-best 19-9 record and showed no signs of slowing on this first day of June. Today’s win let San Francisco take the series and head into an off-day on a positive note. They’ll head over to the Cardinal’s division rival in Cincinnati and take on the Reds for a three game series before heading home for a ten-game homestand.