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St. Louis at San Francisco

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St. Louis (3-6) «0100031106110
San Francisco (4-5)100000000160

Cards handle Giants, snap three-game skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Kyle Lohse and David Freese provided just the kind of performance the struggling St. Louis Cardinals needed to get out of their early-season rut.

Lohse allowed one run in eight sharp innings and Freese went 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBI to help the Cardinals snap a three-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.

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"You can't get too worried about the way things are going this early," Lohse said. "Obviously you don't want it to turn into a trend. Most of us have been around long enough to know it's not going to last forever. We just have to weather the storm and get through it and things will right themselves."

Matt Holliday scored the go-ahead run and added an RBI single in his first game since undergoing an appendectomy April 1 to help the Cardinals win for only the third time in nine games this season. Skip Schumaker added a two-run double in a three-run sixth that gave the Cardinals the lead for good.

Barry Zito (0-1) walked five batters, including two who later scored, and the Giants were unable to complete their first three-game sweep of the Cardinals since 2001.

"All day I was battling my timing in the delivery," Zito said. "The ball was getting up. That's the core of my frustration in the outing was not throwing strikes. I've been throwing strikes all spring. It was a timing issue with the delivery. It's just something that gets out of whack when you try to do too much."

After San Francisco overcame ninth-inning deficits to win the first two games of this series, the Cardinals managed to hold onto this lead without using struggling closer Ryan Franklin. Lohse (1-1) allowed five hits and handed a big lead over to Trever Miller, who finished with a scoreless ninth.

"You have to start somewhere," manager Tony La Russa said. "You build a little momentum and a little confidence and you build on it. Hopefully this is where it starts."

St. Louis also got the victory despite another rough day for three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols, whose early struggles have played a big part in St. Louis' slow start. Pujols, in the final year of his contract, went 0 for 5 to drop his average to .143 with just one extra-base hit through nine games.

Pujols hit into a double play after the Cardinals put the first two batters on in the third inning and was taunted before his next at-bat by fans chanting "one-five-six" for his season average at that point.

After Pujols grounded out to lead off the sixth, the Cardinals started their go-ahead rally when Zito walked Holliday and Allen Craig. Freese then hit an RBI double to make it 2-1 and Schumaker added a two-run double that hit off center fielder Aaron Rowand's glove after a long run to the gap in left-center.

That gave the Cardinals their first three-run inning of the season and gave Lohse some breathing room on the mound.

"We have the type of offense that can put up big numbers," Freese said. "Hopefully it's a domino effect and we can get things going."

Schumaker's hit ended the day for Zito, who allowed four runs, six hits and five walks in 5 1/3 innings to lose his first home start since getting booed off the mound on the final weekend of the regular season last year.

Holliday added an RBI single in the seventh, giving him four hits and three RBI in only two games this season. Freese led off the eighth with his first home run off Guillermo Mota to make it 6-1.

The loss capped a celebratory weekend in San Francisco, where the Giants raised their World Series championship banner before Friday's home opener, handed out World Series rings Saturday and honored 2010 NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey in a pregame ceremony Sunday.

After getting victories following the first two celebrations, the Giants fell short Sunday and now can get ready to play games without all the pomp and circumstance.

"I don't want to say it's a relief. We were looking forward to it," manager Bruce Bochy said. "There might have been a little hangover today. It's been a very emotional first couple of games here but their guy pitched well. Give him credit. That's where it starts. He was on top of his game."

Notes:

  • Posey was one of a handful of regulars who got the day off for the Giants, with CF Andres Torres sitting with a mild left Achilles' strain and SS Miguel Tejada getting a planned day off.
  • Cardinals C Gerald Laird was hit in the helmet by Pablo Sandoval's broken bat on an RBI single in the first inning but stayed in the game.
 
Copyright 2015 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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David Freese, who earlier hits a go-ahead RBI double, follows through on his leadoff home run in the eighth inning.  (AP)
David Freese, who earlier hits a go-ahead RBI double, follows through on his leadoff home run in the eighth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

D. Freese
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

K. Lohse
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 0
K 5
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ryan Theriot, SS5020010 .250
Colby Rasmus, CF4110102 .355
Albert Pujols, 1B5000012 .143
Matt Holliday, LF3111210 .571
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
Allen Craig, RF4210113 .231
David Freese, 3B4233000 .250
Skip Schumaker, 2B4022001 .281
Gerald Laird, C3000102 .000
Kyle Lohse, P4010013 .143
    Jon Jay, LF0000000 .273
Totals36611655  
Batting
2B - Allen Craig (1, Zito), David Freese (2, Zito), Skip Schumaker (2, Zito)
HR - David Freese (1, Mota)
RBI - Matt Holliday (3), David Freese 3 (3), Skip Schumaker 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Holliday (2)
SB - Colby Rasmus (1, 2nd base off Mota/Whiteside)
Team LOB - 8
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kyle Lohse (W,1-1) 8511050 3.00
Trever Miller 1100010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 96-65, Trever Miller 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 11-8, Trever Miller 1-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 29, Trever Miller 4
San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Mike Fontenot, SS4000032 .000
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4120002 .314
Aubrey Huff, LF4000011 .222
Pablo Sandoval, 3B4011000 .400
Aaron Rowand, CF4010001 .389
Nate Schierholtz, RF4000011 .267
Brandon Belt, 1B3000000 .161
Eli Whiteside, C3010000 .250
Barry Zito, P2000010 .000
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .000
    Jeremy Affeldt, P0000000 .000
   a- Mark DeRosa, PH1010000 .364
    Sergio Romo, P0000000 .000
Totals3316106  
a-singled for Affeldt in the 8th
Batting
2B - Aaron Rowand (1, Miller)
RBI - Pablo Sandoval (4)
2-OUT RBI - Pablo Sandoval (3)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Fontenot-F. Sanchez-Belt, Sandoval-F. Sanchez-Belt
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Barry Zito (L,0-1) 5.1644510 5.56
Guillermo Mota 2.1522021 2.45
Jeremy Affeldt 0.1000000 3.00
Sergio Romo 1000020 0.00
IBB - Laird by Barry Zito
Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 97-51, Guillermo Mota 46-30, Jeremy Affeldt 2-2, Sergio Romo 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 6-7, Guillermo Mota 2-3, Jeremy Affeldt 1-0
Batters Faced - Barry Zito 25, Guillermo Mota 12, Jeremy Affeldt 1, Sergio Romo 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42092
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 56
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Paul Emmel