Matt Cain got off to a shaky start for the Giants on Thursday, but in a reversal of trends, the starter got more than enough run support as the Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5 at AT&T Park.
The seven runs were a season high for the Giants at home, sparked in part by moving shortstop Brandon Crawford up to the No. 2 spot in the order, where he scored the first run of the game after doubling in the first inning and drove in two runs in the second with a single.
“With the guys in scoring position, I saw more fastballs I think than I would have probably hitting eighth,” Crawford said. “I don’t think they wanted to load the bases for Melky [Cabrera]. I know I wouldn’t.”
Crawford finished the game 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Brandon Belt had two doubles in the game and has now driven in runs in each of his past three starts.
Emmanuel Burriss even got in on the act with the first sacrifice fly of his career and his first RBI since April 21.
In a reversal of fortune for the Giants, the Cardinals committed three errors to boost the Giants’ offense, and Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright fell to 0-4 against the Giants in his career, though only two of the five runs he surrendered were earned.
Cain struggled early, giving up four runs in the first three innings, but settled down to retire 10 of the last 11 batters he faced as he finished six innings with six strikeouts.
“I was kind of all over the place,” Cain said of his rough start. “A lot of pitches seemed like they were coming back in the middle. I wasn’t making good, quality pitches and they were taking advantage of it. But the guys hung in there with me and got some runs, got the runs we needed.”
Cain gave up seven hits in the first three innings, including singles to each leadoff hitter, after not allowing more than six in a game all year.
“It shows you how tough this guy is,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Cain’s outing. “He ended up pitching a pretty good game. It’s nice to get him a win like that with all the tough games he’s had when we couldn’t get him some runs.”
NOTE: Giants reliever Sergio Romo gave up a home run to catcher Yadier Molina in the eighth inning, the first run allowed by the right-handed setup man in 11¹⁄³ innings this season. He has given up runs in only two of his past 44 appearances, dating back to June 30, 2011.