Heston walks 5, gone early in Giants’ 2-1 loss to Cardinals

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Chris Heston throws during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Chris Heston throws during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS — Chris Heston didn’t give the St. Louis Cardinals much to hit. The San Francisco Giants rookie pitcher couldn’t find the strike zone.

Heston walked a season-worst five in 4 2-3 innings of a 2-1 loss on Monday night and departed after 104
pitches.

“I just need to get back to being aggressive in the zone and not walking so many people and kind of putting myself in corners that I’ve got to battle out of,” Heston said.

Heston is 0-3 in four outings this month, failing to last five innings in three of them.

“You want to be out there and you want to be going deep into games,” Heston said. “It helps everybody.”

Manager Bruce Bochy gives the 27-year-old right-hander credit for allowing just one run.

“He kept them there despite not being real sharp with his command,” Bochy said. “Obviously, we’d like depth out of our starters but he worked hard and we’ll see how it goes.”

Rookie Stephen Piscotty tripled and scored the go-ahead run on Mark Reynolds’ groundout in the eighth inning.

The run came a little too late for Michael Wacha, who allowed one run in seven innings with six strikeouts but missed a chance to become the majors’ first 15-game winner. The right-hander faced the Giants for the first time since allowing an NL championship series-ending homer to Travis Ishikawa last fall in his first appearance of the postseason.

Yadier Molina hit his third homer off Heston leading off the fourth for St. Louis. The Giants tied it on Brandon Crawford’s two-out RBI triple in the sixth.

The Cardinals have won nine of 12, ended the Giants’ four-game winning streak, and lead Pittsburgh by six games in the NL Central. They’re tops in the majors in overall record (76-42) and home record (45-18).

Kevin Siegrist (4-0) worked a perfect eighth against the top of the Giants order and Trevor Rosenthal earned his 37th save in 39 chances when pinch-hitter Buster Posey flied out to the wall in center.

Piscotty tripled off Hunter Strickland (2-2) with one out in the eighth and Brandon Moss was intentionally walked. On the deciding play, Crawford fielded Reynolds’ grounder and ran to second for a forceout and then spun and threw wide to first, missing a chance at a double play.

Crawford had some trouble getting a grip on “a ball that wasn’t hit hard enough or soft enough that I could come home.”

“It’s one where you’re trying to use your instincts and most of the time it works out, but unfortunately that time it didn’t,” Crawford said.

Bochy said if Crawford made an accurate throw, he’d have completed the double play.

“He’s the best in the game, I think,” Bochy said. “He made a nice play on a tough hop, and the throw just got away from him.”

Rosenthal tied Pittsburgh’s Mark Melancon for the National League lead. Piscotty is 6 for 10 in the last three games, scoring five runs.

After surrendering Molina’s homer, Heston walked the bases full later in the fourth before striking out Kolten Wong to end the threat.

Giants starter Tim Lincecum (hips) is scheduled to face hitters in a simulated game later this week.

Ryan Vogelsong (8-8, 4.15) will start Tuesday instead of Mike Leake (9-6, 3.52), who is not quite ready to be activated from the 15-day disabled list from a hamstring injury. Vogelsong will pitch opposite the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn, (9-7, 2.95).Brandon CrawfordBruce BochyChris HestonMLBSan Francisco GiantsSt. Louis Cardinals

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