EditorsNote: rewords 11th graf
The visiting St. Louis Cardinals gave Johnny Cueto a rude greeting in his return from the disabled list Thursday night, bombing the veteran for four first-inning runs en route to an 11-2 blowout win over the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a four-game series at AT&T Park.
Right-hander Luke Weaver took a perfect game one out into the sixth inning before allowing an infield single to Gorkys Hernandez, helping the Cardinals record a fifth win in their past six road games.
Cueto (3-1), who sprained his right elbow in April after starting the season 2-0, was pitching in the majors for the first time in more than two months.
He walked the first batter he faced, Matt Carpenter, to set the stage for the Cardinals’ four-run first.
After singles by Tommy Pham and Yadier Molina loaded the bases, Marcell Ozuna’s infield out kicked off the scoring before Jedd Gyorko blasted a three-run home run to right field, opening a 4-0 lead.
The homer was Gyorko’s seventh of the season.
Carpenter added a solo shot in the second inning, his 16th, to create a five-run cushion.
Cueto held the Cardinals scoreless after that through the fifth inning, leaving after allowing five runs and 10 hits. He walked two and struck out two.
Coming off his worst outing of the season in an 11-4 home loss to Atlanta, Weaver (5-7) set down the first 16 Giants in order before Hernandez beat out a slow roller toward third base.
One out later, Alen Hanson ended Weaver’s shutout hopes with a two-run homer, his sixth of the season.
Those were the only two runs and two hits yielded by Weaver in eight innings. The 24-year-old struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
Gyorko finished with a single, double, homer and five RBIs for the Cardinals, who improved to 3-1 on their nine-game trip.
Harrison Bader also had three hits, including a double and his sixth homer, as did Molina in St. Louis’ 18-hit assault on three Giants pitchers.
Carpenter scored three times, while Bader and Ozuna collected two RBIs apiece for the Cardinals.
The Giants lost their fourth straight, a stretch during which they’ve totaled just five runs. They had won 14 of their previous 18 home games.
—Field Level Media