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Cardinals @ Giants 8.30 recap - Byrd's Birthday Bash spoiled by Cards bats

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Meat of Giants' order has a big day, but not quite big enough. Cards get offensive contributions from lineup top to bottom.

Nori Aoki celebrates Marlon Byrd's birthday
Nori Aoki celebrates Marlon Byrd's birthday
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

St. Louis Cardinals @ San Francisco Giants

Jaime Garcia (6-4, 1.77 ERA, 3.03 FIP, .923 WHIP) vs. Chris Heston (11-7, 3.34 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 1.215 WHIP)
3:05 p.m. CT 
AT&T Park - San Francisco, California

Today's Lineups -

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Matt Carpenter - 3B Norichika Aoki - LF
Stephen Piscotty - CF Matt Duffy - 3B
Jason Heyward - RF Brandon Belt - 1B
Yadier Molina - C Buster Posey - C
Kolten Wong - 2B Marlon Byrd - RF
Mark Reynolds - 1B Kelby Tomlinson - 2B
Brandon Moss - LF Gregor Blanco - CF
Greg Garcia - SS Ehire Adrianza - SS
Jaime Garcia - LHP Chris Heston - RHP

Some News -

  • Happy Birthday, Adam Wainwright!  Marlon Byrd, too!
  • The Rockies finally get a W over the Pirates 5-0 - MLB.com
  • The Cubs and Dodgers play the Sunday Night Game - MLB.com
  • Milwaukee takes care of Cincinnati 4-1 - MLB.com
  • Bernie Miklasz' new radio show starts tomorrow on 101 ESPN at 7

Things we were looking for -

Interesting defensive alignment today.  Garcia gets a look as the backup shortstop position, and Piscotty gets his first start in center.

Things that happened -

Top halves -

The Cards had Chris Heston's number from the get-go.  Matt Carpenter homered on the second pitch of the game.  Piscotty smashed the third pitch of the game for a single.  Jason Heyward drove him home on the sixth pitch of the game, tripling over Gregor Blanco's head.  It was an odd flight- Blanco broke in on contact, but the liner seemed to have some rising action to it and it sailed easily over Blanco's head.  Yadier Molina smashed a hard single up the middle.  Heston got a much needed double play off Kolten Wong's bat.  Cardinals lead 3-0.

In the second, Brandon Moss drove a ball to the wall in center, but was robbed of at least a double by a nice over-the-shoulder catch by Gregor Blanco.  Blanco turned around and ranged in to grab a Greg Garcia batted ball to get the second out.  The other Garcia in the lineup grounded out to end the frame.

Third inning - The Cards posted another run on back-to-back two-out doubles down opposite lines- Heyward's down the left, and Molina's down the right.  Cardinals lead 4-2.

In the fourth, more hard contact from the Cards' bats.  Ehire Adrianza made a nice play on a Reynolds grounder.  Moss smacked a dinger into center, to push the lead back to three.  J. Garcia and Carpenter also singled, and pushed Heston out of the game in favor of George Kantos.  Cardinals lead 5-2.

Heston's line: 3 2/3 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 59 pitches thrown.

Kantos pitched a clean fifth.

Javier Lopez' first pitch in the sixth ended up in the seats courtesy of a Mark Reynolds blast to left center. Cardinals up 6-2.

Hunter Strickland took over in the seventh after Lopez walked Carpenter.  He allowed a single to Heyward (to again put him a homer shy of a cycle for the second straight Sunday), but a double play helped him escape with no harm done.

In the eighth, Wong found himself on third with one out after a single, a balk (a ticky-tack balk call, according to the Giants' announcers), and a groundout.  Bourjos struck out, but G. Garcia drove in the run.  Cardinals lead 7-4.

Josh Osich pitched the ninth for the Giants, and other than a leadoff walk to Piscotty, he held the Cardinal lead to two going into the bottom of the ninth.

Bottom halves -

Nori Aoki led things off for the Giants with an infield hit on which Carp made a good diving play on, but made a wide throw.  Matt Duffy helped erase the leadoff single by grounding into a double play.  Brandon Belt and Buster Posey singled back-to-back, leading to birthday boy Marlon Byrd.  Byrd's double off the foul pole scored two - aided by the ball getting past Heyward on the carom.  Cardinals lead 3-2.

Jaime seemed to settle in and was able to collect three quick outs in the second.

The next few innings featured some pesky ABs (Aoki, Posey, Adrianza), along with a couple hits in the third, a miscommunication between Piscotty and Heyward (but not one that was detrimental), and a diving catch by Moss.

In the sixth, a real-life Peter Bourjos sighting, but also, a Giants' offensive surge.  A replay of the first - Belt and Posey back-to-back singles, followed by a Byrd double (to the exact same place in the corner as in the first).  The double only scored one this time, but Kelby Tomlinson drove in one with a groundout.  Cardinals lead 6-4.

Jaime allowed a one-out single to Aoki in the seventh, and that was it for him.  Steve Cishek threw one pitch and got two outs to end the frame.  Jaime's final line: 6 1/3 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 103 pitches thrown.

In the eighth, Jonathan Broxton worked against the part of the order that had done the damage for the Giants today.  It produced again.  Belt singled (his fourth of the game), and Birthday Byrd took advantage of triples alley in right-center, and drove Belt around to bring the Giants to within 2.  Cardinals lead 7-5.

Kevin Siegrist was the closer today in Trevor Rosenthal's stead.  He did the job, and sealed up the series win for the Cardinals.  Cardinals win 7-5.

Final Notes -

  • Jaime gave up 4 ER for the first time this season.  That bumped his ERA over 2.  Save the two doubles to Byrd, it was mostly the weak contact we expect from Jaime, just strung together a little more than would be ideal.

  • Heston was incredibly hittable today.  Even most of the outs were stung.  Lots of pitches left over the plate ripe for the smashing.

  • To finish the road trip this way was particularly satisfying considering how it started off in San Diego.  The Pirates loss today helped.

  • Fangraphs

  • Gamenotes: CardinalsGiants

Looking ahead -

Tune in tomorrow as the Cardinals return home to take on Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals.  John Lackey will take the mound for the Cards.  The fun begins at 7:15 CT.