Cardinals 4, Giants 1

David Freese delivered a crushing hit right after the Giants

tied the game, and Jaime Garcia had a lead again when he headed

back out to the mound in the bottom of the seventh.

Garcia matched his career high with nine strikeouts, Freese hit

a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning, and the St. Louis

Cardinals gave manager Mike Matheny a victory against his old

Giants team with a 4-1 win Wednesday night.

Freese won’t go as far as to say he’s back on track at the plate

following an 0-for-17 funk, but this is certainly a start.

”That’s one way to turn it around a little bit,” he said.

”Just a big hit for Jaime. He pitched his tail off. Facing this

type of team in this type of environment, it’s nice to help him get

a win like that.”

Buster Posey hit a tying RBI single in the sixth against Garcia

(3-2) for San Francisco, which missed multiple scoring chances yet

again in what has been the biggest downfall for this bunch.

Pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker added a two-run double in the eighth

for the Cardinals, who improved to 13-7 on the road.

In a matchup of the last two World Series champions, the Giants

didn’t do enough to back Madison Bumgarner (5-3). He lost his

second straight start following a five-start winning streak on a

breezy Bay Area night featuring a hovering mist above the


Garcia, who pitched a three-hitter in a 9-0 win over the Giants

on Aug. 22, 2010, in St. Louis, had another memorable performance

on the mound – his nasty off-speed stuff keeping the Giants


”He had it right from the beginning,” Matheny said. ”He gets

going like that, and it’s going to be fun to watch him.”

While he allowed nine hits in 7 1-3 innings, Garcia didn’t issue

a walk for the first time this year and threw an efficient 92

pitches. The lefty also struck out nine San Francisco batters on

April 9, 2011.

”It was a really tough lineup and place to play, and I was able

to stay in control of the game,” he said.

Jason Motte pitched the ninth for his seventh save in nine


Slugger Carlos Beltran missed his third straight game for St.

Louis with a sore and stiff right knee, but he could be available

in Thursday afternoon’s series finale against his former club.

Beltran spent the second half of 2011 with the Giants after a trade

from the New York Mets.

St. Louis took the lead in the first when Rafael Furcal scored

on Allen Craig’s fielder’s choice. Furcal and Freese each had three

hits. Freese connected for his eighth home run with a shot into the

tunnel area in left field with two outs in the seventh, then

doubled in the ninth.

Freese also singled in the fourth to snap his hitless streak,

helping the Cardinals win consecutive games after they avoided an

0-5 homestand by beating the Chicago Cubs 7-6 on Tuesday.

”I’m not looking at it like I’m finally getting breaks, because

I’ve been terrible the last week,” Freese said. ”It’s not like

I’ve been lining balls, this and that. I had a rough week.”

The Giants squandered chances in the early innings. San

Francisco had baserunners reach at least second base in the second,

third and fourth innings, stranding runners at third in the second

and fourth.

Bumgarner had his eight-start home winning streak snapped, a run

dating to his last loss here on Aug. 4, 2011, against the Phillies.

The lefty missed a chance to move closer to Ron Bryant’s streak of

10 consecutive home victories in 1972-73.

Bumgarner didn’t allow a walk for the first time this season,

giving up seven hits in 7 1-3 innings. He gave up at least four

earned runs for the second straight outing.

The Giants made a late lineup change, scratching left fielder

Melky Cabrera with a left toe injury. Nate Schierholtz moved into

the lineup in right field, with Gregor Blanco shifting to left.

Cabrera pinch hit with two outs in the eighth and runners on the

corners and grounded out on the first pitch he saw. The Giants were

2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and are 6 of 37 (.162) in

such situations in three games so far this homestand.

”Tonight was probably our worst night, I thought, the at-bats

with runners in scoring position,” San Francisco skipper Bruce

Bochy said. ”We’re just getting too anxious, too aggressive and

really chasing pitches. Their pitcher did a great job. He knew that

and he let the guys expand the zone.

Bochy even pulled out one of former Cardinals manager Tony La

Russa’s old stops.

Bumgarner batted eighth and Emmanuel Burriss in the ninth spot

to give the Giants ”a couple leadoff hitters, a couple speed guys

back-to-back,” Bochy said. ”I know Tony did it.”

Bochy did the same thing on May 20, 2010, at Arizona. He hit Tim

Lincecum eighth and Andres Torres ninth.

Furcal was in an 0-for-9 streak before hitting singles in his

first two at-bats.

NOTES: There were no walks. … Pagan has hit safely in 27 of

his last 28 games. … It was 53 degrees with wind and fog at first

pitch. … Giants 3B Joaquin Arias was off after being hit in the

left forearm during Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to Colorado. … San

Francisco 2B Freddy Sanchez received an epidural in his inflamed

lower back and Bochy called it a ”setback,” but the manager

believes Sanchez will return this year. … The teams play their

other four games of the year Aug. 6-9 at Busch Stadium. …

Cardinals C Yadier Molina had the night off after playing the

previous two games. … Bumgarner allowed only 10 earned runs in

his first 39 innings this season but has given up eight in his last

13 1-3 innings.