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St. Louis at San Francisco

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St. Louis000000000030
San Francisco «00002000x260

Giants fill-in Hennessey outduels Cards' Morris

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Brad Hennessey is no longer worrying each outing which pitch will be the one that sends him back to the minors.

That mind-set along with some minor tweaks to his delivery are making quite a difference -- and all but earned him a longer stay in San Francisco.

Hennessey pitched seven shutout innings in a spot start and Michael Tucker hit a fifth-inning single to break a scoreless tie, leading the Giants over the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 Saturday.

Ray Durham added two hits and scored a run for the Giants, who won for the third time in four games on a day they honored retired closer Robb Nen, the club's all-time saves leader, in a pregame ceremony.

Hennessey (3-2), recalled late Friday to start in place of struggling lefty Kirk Rueter, made his sixth start of the season and 13th of his career. Hennessey spent his time at Triple-A Fresno working on a more compact windup, and he's liking the results.

"I came up here with the attitude to throw the best I can and whatever happens happens," Hennessey said, "and not to worry as much about my fate as I did before."

He earned his first win since May 12 at Houston and ended a two-start losing streak. The right-hander impressed the Giants with a strong June in the minors, going 3-0 in five starts.

The 25-year-old Hennessey outpitched Matt Morris (10-2), who was trying to win his third straight start and move closer to his 100th career victory -- he's still three wins away.

"So, what about Hennessey, the mystery starter?" manager Felipe Alou said. "He looked like a different guy on the mound, more relaxed. We owe it to that guy to give him a little more credit, more than a guy used for emergency."

Tyler Walker completed the three-hitter, pitching the ninth for his 13th save and 12th since taking over the closer job May 12. He came out to the mound to Nen's signature song "Smoke on the Water," finishing just the Giants' third shutout.

A day after Mark Mulder pitched seven shutout innings for his 10th win of the year in a 3-1 St. Louis victory, Hennessey hung tough. He went to 3-1 counts on three of the first four St. Louis batters, including walking Jim Edmonds.

Hennessey also gave up a first-inning single to Albert Pujols, then faced the minimum in each of the next five innings. He got two double plays and retired 11 straight during one stretch.

"Morris pitched well enough to win, but Hennessey pitched better," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He was outstanding."

He allowed three hits, struck out two and walked one in place of Rueter, demoted to the bullpen Wednesday after his winless stretch reached nine starts in Monday's 11-10 loss to the Reds.

Morris faced the minimum through four before allowing three straight singles to start the fifth, including a line drive to right by Tucker that put San Francisco ahead. Pedro Feliz grounded into a double play to drive in a run moments later and make it 2-0.

Morris threw just 93 pitches in eight effective innings. He allowed six hits, struck out three and didn't walk a batter for the third straight start.

He's pleased with his first half and how he bounced back after offseason shoulder surgery.

"I'm kind of surprised at my record coming off surgery," he said. "I didn't know what to expect this season, so I'm thankful and grateful for my statistics. I'm looking forward to having a great second half."

The Cardinals had won five out of six and six of eight, but couldn't muster enough offense. After working the count to 3-2 against Hennessey in the sixth, So Taguchi fouled off nine pitches before grounding into a 6-4-3 double play.

The highlight for the Cardinals came on defense.

Edmonds made a great grab in the second on a hard-hit ball to center field by Durham. Running toward the wall with his back to the plate, Edmonds stretched out to make the play and fell to the ground afterward.

Moises Alou, the Giants' lone representative in next week's All-Star game in Detroit, had two hits in the franchise's 9,999th victory. His managing father is a coach on La Russa's NL staff.

Mike Mahoney started at catcher for St. Louis a day after being recalled from Triple-A Memphis.

Notes

  • LaTroy Hawkins pitched his second perfect inning in as many outings with a 1-2-3 eighth. He left the team after the game to attend a family member's funeral Sunday in Indiana.
  • The Giants didn't strand a runner until the seventh.
  • It was Hennessey's first career appearance vs. St. Louis.
  • Before the game, the Cardinals activated LHP Randy Flores from the 15-day disabled list and optioned LHP Carmen Cali to Triple-A Memphis.
  • Giants SS Omar Vizquel had his eight-game hitting streak snapped.
  • The game drew 42,423 for the waterfront ballpark's 10th sellout this year.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Less than 24 hours after being called up, Brad Hennessey throws seven shutout innings.  (AP)
Less than 24 hours after being called up, Brad Hennessey throws seven shutout innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

B. Hennessey
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 1
K 2
San Francisco

R. Durham
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS4010000 .288
So Taguchi, LF4000011 .278
Albert Pujols, 1B3010000 .338
Jim Edmonds, CF2000110 .272
Scott Rolen, 3B3000002 .256
John Mabry, RF3000000 .276
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B3010000 .275
Mike Mahoney, C2000001 .000
   a- Abraham Nunez, PH1000000 .297
    Einar Diaz, C0000000 .224
Matt Morris, P2000000 .097
   b- Reggie Sanders, PH1000010 .277
Totals28030134 
a-grounded out for Mahoney in the 8th
b-struck out for Morris in the 9th
Fielding
DP - Pujols-Eckstein, Eckstein-Grudzielanek-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Morris (L,10-2) 8622030 3.10
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Morris 93-64
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Morris 12-7
Batters Faced - Matt Morris 28
San Francisco Giants
Jason Ellison, CF4000001 .274
Omar Vizquel, SS3000000 .300
J.T. Snow, 1B3000020 .278
Moises Alou, LF3120000 .320
Ray Durham, 2B3120001 .284
Michael Tucker, RF3011002 .263
Pedro Feliz, 3B3010010 .277
Yorvit Torrealba, C2000000 .247
Brad Hennessey, P2000000 .091
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
   a- Lance Niekro, PH1000001 .294
    Tyler Walker, P0000000 .000
Totals27261035 
a-flied out for Hawkins in the 8th
Batting
2B - Pedro Feliz (16, Morris)
SH - Yorvit Torrealba (2)
RBI - Michael Tucker (25)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
DP - Hennessey-Vizquel-Snow, Vizquel-Durham-Snow
San Francisco Giants
Brad Hennessey (W,3-2) 7300120 5.23
LaTroy Hawkins (H,2) 1000000 5.13
Tyler Walker (S,13) 1000010 4.03
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Hennessey 100-61, LaTroy Hawkins 6-5, Tyler Walker 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Hennessey 10-7, LaTroy Hawkins 1-2
Batters Faced - Brad Hennessey 23, LaTroy Hawkins 3, Tyler Walker 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42423
Game Time - 1:59
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Tom Hallion