|St. Louis (6-9)||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||5||2|
|San Francisco (6-8) «||0||0||0||0||2||3||0||1||x||6||7||2|
Aurilia provided the key hit for the second time in 15½ hours. His two-run, sixth-inning double broke a tie and helped Noah Lowry to his first win of the season, a 6-2 victory over the struggling St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.
"It makes me feel good in the sense that I had success here in the past," said Aurilia, who was thrilled it worked out for him to return this season. "I'm not getting any younger but I feel I can still play and contribute to a winning team."
Aurilia singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 12th in a 6-5 win Wednesday night, then doubled to right to spoil what had been a good effort by St. Louis starter Kip Wells.
Wells appeared to have single-handedly worked the reigning World Series champions out of a jam. He homered, singled and scored two runs, but the Cardinals couldn't hold a 2-0 lead and lost their fourth straight and fifth in six games.
"I was in hot water and they did a good job of hitting hittable pitches," Wells said. "You have to make better pitches when runs are at a premium."
The Cardinals' 6-9 start is the worst by a reigning title team since the 1998 Florida Marlins opened 1-11.
"If you pay attention to our club, you know what our concerns are," manager Tony La Russa said. "It's not necessary to spell it out. We got beat, we're not doing enough and we're going to fix it."
Lowry (1-2) allowed two runs -- one earned -- and four hits in seven sharp innings. The lefty struck out four, walked two and surrendered his first home run of the season.
Wells (1-3) sent the first pitch from Lowry just over the left-field fence leading off the fifth. It was the pitcher's fourth career home run, first with the Cardinals and first since Aug. 19, 2005, for the Pirates at Philadelphia.
The right-hander, who pitched seven shutout innings against the Giants on July 28, allowed leadoff singles in the first and second innings but still got a double play and a caught stealing and faced the minimum through four.
After Ray Durham reached on first baseman Albert Pujols' fielding error at first to start the fifth, Klesko tripled to right-center and just made it safely. An animated third-base coach Tim Flannery, who had worked with Klesko in San Diego before both came north this season, belly flopped signaling to Klesko to speed up and slide in a hilarious moment.
"It wasn't a slide, I think it was a fall," Klesko said of how he made it in safely. "Flann got me down. I'm glad I have the skin on my chin. He went down, I went down, everybody went down. Flann slides, you slide. I tried to grab the bag and not slide into him. We were almost hugging."
Such theatrics -- "he's on a stage out there," manager Bruce Bochy said -- are what Flannery loves about his job, especially after being out of the game the past two years and working in the Padres broadcast booth.
"I love it," Flannery said. "He has a clothing line called 'Mindless Reaction,' and that's how I would describe Klesko."
Winn drove in Klesko moments later, reaching when second baseman Aaron Miles' throw to Pujols was in the dirt for another error by the infield.
Klesko and Barry Bonds, who got to rest a day after hitting home run No. 738, could be seen laughing in the dugout after Klesko scored the tying run. Bonds hugged his teammate as they chatted.
Klesko fell a homer shy of hitting for the cycle, adding an RBI double in the eighth to make it 6-2.
Lowry had been the victim of low run support, as the Giants scored only once in the two previous games he started -- losses to the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. But they managed enough for him this time in his first victory in three career starts against the Cardinals.
"I look at what I can do and try to control what I can control," Lowry said. "Everything feels good and I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes."
Brad Hennessey got the final five outs for his first save.
|Players of the Game|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|David Eckstein, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.241|
|Chris Duncan, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.327|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.190|
|Scott Spiezio, 3B||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.172|
|Preston Wilson, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.200|
|Yadier Molina, C||3||0||1||0||1||1||1||.256|
|So Taguchi, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.250|
|Aaron Miles, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.292|
|Kip Wells, P||2||2||2||1||0||0||0||.429|
|a- Skip Schumaker, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.182|
|Brad Thompson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-popped out for Wells in the 7th|
|HR - Kip Wells (1, Lowry)|
|SH - David Eckstein (2)|
|RBI - Kip Wells (1)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Spiezio-Pujols, Molina-Eckstein|
|E - Aaron Miles (1, Throwing), Albert Pujols (1, Missed catch of throw)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Kip Wells (L,1-3)||6||6||5||4||2||4||0||3.12|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kip Wells 108-67, Brad Thompson 23-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kip Wells 8-5, Brad Thompson 3-2|
|Batters Faced - Kip Wells 25, Brad Thompson 8|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Dave Roberts, CF||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.261|
|Omar Vizquel, SS||3||1||0||0||1||0||0||.222|
|Rich Aurilia, 3B||3||2||1||2||1||0||0||.352|
|Ray Durham, 2B||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.294|
|Ryan Klesko, 1B||4||1||3||2||0||1||1||.333|
|Randy Winn, RF||3||0||0||2||0||1||1||.209|
|Mark Sweeney, LF||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.250|
|Jack Taschner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Hennessey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Eliezer Alfonzo, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Noah Lowry, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Todd Linden, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.240|
|a-flied out for Lowry in the 7th|
|2B - Rich Aurilia (5, Wells), Ryan Klesko (1, Thompson)|
|3B - Ryan Klesko (1, Wells)|
|SF - Randy Winn (2)|
|RBI - Rich Aurilia 2 (9), Ryan Klesko 2 (4), Randy Winn 2 (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Klesko (3)|
|SB - Dave Roberts (5, 2nd base off Wells/Molina)|
|CS - Ray Durham (2, 2nd base by Wells/Molina), Randy Winn (1, 2nd base by Wells/Molina)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|Outfield Assists - Randy Winn 1|
|DP - Vizquel-Durham-Klesko|
|E - Ryan Klesko (1, Throwing), Noah Lowry (2, Throwing)|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Noah Lowry (W,1-2)||7||4||2||2||2||4||1||2.70|
|Jack Taschner (H,1)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.45|
|Brad Hennessey (S,1)||1.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.84|
|HBP - Pujols (by Noah Lowry)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Noah Lowry 109-70, Jack Taschner 2-2, Brad Hennessey 21-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Noah Lowry 9-8, Brad Hennessey 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Noah Lowry 28, Jack Taschner 1, Brad Hennessey 5|
|Attendance - 37398|
|Game Time - 2:45|
|Temperature - 56|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Gerry Davis|