Cardinals rally past Giants in ninth
SAN FRANCISCO -- On the hottest night in the history of bayside AT&T Park, the St. Louis Cardinals admitted they felt right at home.
And when their bats finally reached field temperature, it was lights out for the San Francisco Giants.
Dexter Fowler greeted Giants closer Sam Dyson with a triple and Kolten Wong lined the next pitch for a tiebreaking single in a six-run ninth inning Friday night, lifting the Cardinals to a come-from-behind, 11-6 victory on a scorching night at AT&T Park.
Harrison Bader, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A, belted his first career home run. Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty also went deep for the Cardinals (68-66), who gained a game on the Colorado Rockies in the National League wild-card race.
St. Louis now trails Colorado (72-62) by four games.
“Baseball is a funny game,” noted Bader, one of five minor leaguers promoted Friday when major league rosters expanded. “It took us a little bit to get going. But hitting is contagious.”
Rallying in a game that began with a 93-degree temperature, an AT&T record for a night game, the Cardinals won despite a revenge-motivated rampage by Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, who vented some frustration on Cardinals pitching with two doubles and a two-run homer.
But it all went for naught because of a nine-man bullpen that was lit up for nine runs and 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings.
“I can’t recall one that was as tough for us as tonight,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of the bullpen blowup. “You look at the extra-base hits. I think they had six in the last three innings against our set-up guys and our closer. You’re probably not going to win a ballgame like that, and that’s what happened.”
After rallying for two runs in the seventh inning and one in the eighth to erase a 5-2 deficit, the Cardinals jumped all over Dyson, who had held opponents scoreless in 22 of his 27 appearances since joining the Giants in June.
Bader followed Wong’s hit with a single of his own, and both scored on a two-run double by Paul DeJong that increased the St. Louis lead to 8-5.
After Matt Carpenter sacrificed DeJong to third, Yadier Molina lined an RBI single that made it a four-run inning and spelled the end for Dyson (1-2).
Piscotty then capped a three-hit night with his homer, a two-run shot off the Giants’ 10th pitcher, right-hander Albert Suarez.
“A lot of teams get down and can’t fight their way out of it,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “That’s not the way with this club.”
Left-hander Tyler Lyons (3-0), who pitched a scoreless eighth inning, got the win.
Wong, Bader, DeJong and Molina had two hits apiece for the Cardinals, who totaled eight extra-base hits, including four triples.
Bader, DeJong, Piscotty and Greg Garcia drove in two runs apiece.
“A team that never quits, with a lot of young talent, mix in some veteran talent,” Matheny said. “That’s a team that’s tough to beat.”
Buster Posey collected three hits, Hunter Pence had a two-run triple and right-hander Johnny Cueto came off the disabled list to pitch 5 1/3 strong innings for the Giants, who have lost seven of their last eight games.
Crawford’s big night came shortly after the Giants had been notified that Major League Baseball’s review crew in New York had erred on his ninth-inning blast in Thursday’s loss to the Cardinals.
The hit was ruled a homer on the field but was changed to a double on review, with the challenge panel citing fan interference on the play.
Upon further review a day later, it was ruled the fan was beyond the right field barrier when he caught the ball, which should have resulted in Crawford’s 13th homer of the season.
Crawford didn’t wait long to correct the error himself, belting a curveball from Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty off the top of the center fence fence and into the bleachers for a two-run homer in the second inning.
Flaherty was making his major league debut, having been promoted from Triple-A Memphis earlier in the day.
Crawford stole a peek over his shoulder at the umpire as he rounded second base, making sure he in fact was being credited with a home run.
Neither starting pitcher got a decision.
Making his first start since July 14 after dealing with blister and flexor-tendon issues, Cueto left with a 5-2 lead in the sixth inning, having given up the two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out two in an 80-pitch effort.
“He threw great,” Bochy said of Cueto. “It’s warm right now. The ball’s flying as you can see. But really I thought he had good stuff, so that’s the good news.”
The Cardinals trailed 3-0 and 5-2 before rallying against the San Francisco bullpen for two in the seventh and a game-tying run on Garcia’s two-out triple in the eighth off the Giants’ eighth pitcher, right-hander Mark Melancon.
Piscotty had a triple and Grichuk a homer, his 19th, in the seventh-inning uprising against Giants right-hander Hunter Strickland.
Flaherty, 21, was the youngest Cardinal to make his pitching debut as a starter since left-hander Rick Ankiel, 20, in 1999.
He was lifted for a pinch hitter after four innings, having allowed five runs and eight hits. He walked one and struck out six.
After Crawford’s homer triggered a three-run second inning that opened the scoring, Bader countered with his two-run blast in the top of the third to close the gap to 3-2.
But Pence’s two-run triple in the bottom of the third offset Bader’s homer and helped the Giants re-establish a three-run cushion at 5-2.
NOTES: The previous record for game-time temperature at an AT&T night game was 84, set Sept. 12, 2003, against the Milwaukee Brewers. ... The Cardinals’ four triples were their most since also stroking four on April 27, 2003 against the Florida Marlins. ... The Giants’ bullpen has a 13.20 ERA (22 earned runs in 15 innings) in the last five games. ... Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced before the game that LHP Madison Bumgarner (illness), who had to be scratched from his scheduled start Thursday, likely will pitch the series finale on Sunday. ... Along with RHP Jack Flaherty and OF Harrison Bader, the Cardinals added RHP Sandy Alcantara, C Alberto Rosario and INF Alex Mejia to the active bench when rosters expanded. ... To make room for on the organization’s 40-man roster, the Cardinals released LHP Sean Gilmartin. ... In addition to reinstating RHP Johnny Cueto from the disabled list, the Giants recalled RHP Derek Law, LHP Steven Okert and C Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Sacramento. 1B/3B Jae-Gyun Hwang was released off the 40-man roster.