EditorsNote: Updates with NL wild-card race, a few other minor changes
Pinch hitter Matt Adams stroked a tie-breaking, two-run double with two outs in the eighth inning Friday night, sending the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a three-game series in St. Louis.
The win kept the Cardinals (85-69) 1 1/2 games ahead of Colorado (83-70) in the race for the second wild-card spot in the National League. St. Louis also made up a game on the Cubs (89-64) for the division lead, but remain three games back of the Brewers.
After the Giants (72-82) had scored twice in the seventh to forge a 3-3 tie, Harrison Bader drew a two-out walk from San Francisco’s fourth pitcher, Mark Melancon (0-2), in the eighth.
After Yairo Munoz singled Bader into scoring position, left-hander Tony Watson replaced Melancon and served up Adams’ difference-making double to left field.
Carlos Martinez gave up a leadoff double to Alen Hanson to lead off the ninth, but he retired the next three Giants to preserve the lead and record his fourth save.
John Brebbia (3-3), who struck out all three Giants he faced in the eighth inning, was credited with the win.
The Giants earlier had rallied twice into ties, including scoring twice in the seventh against Jordan Hicks to get even at 3-3. Gregor Blanco drove in one of the runs with a single, before Evan Longoria tied the game with an RBI infield out.
Neither starting pitcher got a decision.
Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner was pulled after six innings, having allowed three runs and eight hits. He walked one and struck out five.
Kolten Wong drove in two of the three runs against Bumgarner with RBI singles in the fifth and sixth innings. Wong finished with two hits and two RBIs for the Cardinals, who were opening a six-game homestand.
Cardinals right-hander John Gant didn’t make it out of the third inning, having given up just one run despite four hits and three walks in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out three.
Jedd Gyorko had two hits and Bader scored twice for St. Louis, which won for the fourth time in its last five games.
Longoria had three hits for the Giants, who lost their second straight.
The Cardinals out-hit the Giants 11-8.
—Field Level Media