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Garcia matched his career high with nine strikeouts, Freese hit a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals gave manager Mike Matheny a victory against his old Giants team with a 4-1 win Wednesday night.
Freese won't go as far as to say he's back on track at the plate following an 0-for-17 funk, but this is certainly a start.
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"That's one way to turn it around a little bit," he said. "Just a big hit for Jaime. He pitched his tail off. Facing this type of team in this type of environment, it's nice to help him get a win like that."
Buster Posey hit a tying RBI single in the sixth against Garcia (3-2) for San Francisco, which missed multiple scoring chances yet again in what has been the biggest downfall for this bunch.
Pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker added a two-run double in the eighth for the Cardinals, who improved to 13-7 on the road.
In a matchup of the last two World Series champions, the Giants didn't do enough to back Madison Bumgarner (5-3). He lost his second straight start following a five-start winning streak on a breezy Bay Area night featuring a hovering mist above the field.
Garcia, who pitched a three-hitter in a 9-0 win over the Giants on Aug. 22, 2010, in St. Louis, had another memorable performance on the mound -- his nasty off-speed stuff keeping the Giants guessing.
"He had it right from the beginning," Matheny said. "He gets going like that, and it's going to be fun to watch him."
While he allowed nine hits in 7 1/3 innings, Garcia didn't issue a walk for the first time this year and threw an efficient 92 pitches. The lefty also struck out nine San Francisco batters on April 9, 2011.
"It was a really tough lineup and place to play, and I was able to stay in control of the game," he said.
Jason Motte pitched the ninth for his seventh save in nine opportunities.
Slugger Carlos Beltran missed his third straight game for St. Louis with a sore and stiff right knee, but he could be available in Thursday afternoon's series finale against his former club. Beltran spent the second half of 2011 with the Giants after a trade from the New York Mets.
St. Louis took the lead in the first when Rafael Furcal scored on Allen Craig's fielder's choice. Furcal and Freese each had three hits. Freese connected for his eighth home run with a shot into the tunnel area in left field with two outs in the seventh, then doubled in the ninth.
Freese also singled in the fourth to snap his hitless streak, helping the Cardinals win consecutive games after they avoided an 0-5 homestand by beating the Chicago Cubs 7-6 on Tuesday.
"I'm not looking at it like I'm finally getting breaks, because I've been terrible the last week," Freese said. "It's not like I've been lining balls, this and that. I had a rough week."
The Giants squandered chances in the early innings. San Francisco had baserunners reach at least second base in the second, third and fourth innings, stranding runners at third in the second and fourth.
Bumgarner had his eight-start home winning streak snapped, a run dating to his last loss here on Aug. 4, 2011, against the Phillies. The lefty missed a chance to move closer to Ron Bryant's streak of 10 consecutive home victories in 1972-73.
Bumgarner didn't allow a walk for the first time this season, giving up seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. He gave up at least four earned runs for the second straight outing.
Cabrera pinch hit with two outs in the eighth and runners on the corners and grounded out on the first pitch he saw. The Giants were 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and are 6 of 37 (.162) in such situations in three games so far this homestand.
"Tonight was probably our worst night, I thought, the at-bats with runners in scoring position," San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy said. "We're just getting too anxious, too aggressive and really chasing pitches. Their pitcher did a great job. He knew that and he let the guys expand the zone.
Bochy even pulled out one of former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa's old stops.
Bumgarner batted eighth and Emmanuel Burriss in the ninth spot to give the Giants "a couple leadoff hitters, a couple speed guys back-to-back," Bochy said. "I know Tony did it."
Furcal was in an 0-for-9 streak before hitting singles in his first two at-bats.
|Jason Motte closes out San Francisco, which pleases Cards skipper Mike Matheny -- a former Giant. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||4||2||3||0||0||0||0||.370|
|Tyler Greene, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.235|
|a- Skip Schumaker, PH-RF||1||0||1||2||0||0||0||.333|
|Matt Holliday, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.262|
|Allen Craig, RF||4||0||0||1||0||0||1||.373|
|Daniel Descalso, 2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.203|
|Lance Berkman, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.306|
|David Freese, 3B||4||1||3||1||0||0||0||.287|
|Shane Robinson, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.280|
|Tony Cruz, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.138|
|Jaime Garcia, P||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.263|
|Fernando Salas, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Marc Rzepczynski, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason Motte, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-doubled for T. Greene in the 8th|
|2B - Rafael Furcal (11, Bumgarner), Tyler Greene (4, Bumgarner), Skip Schumaker (3, Edlefsen), David Freese (6, Edlefsen)|
|HR - David Freese (8, Bumgarner)|
|RBI - Skip Schumaker 2 (8), Allen Craig (19), David Freese (28)|
|2-OUT RBI - David Freese (14)|
|SB - Tyler Greene (4, 2nd base off Bumgarner/Posey)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Furcal-T. Greene-Berkman|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Jaime Garcia (W,3-2)||7.1||9||1||1||0||9||0||3.68|
|Fernando Salas (H,2)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||5.02|
|Marc Rzepczynski (H,5)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.98|
|Jason Motte (S,7)||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||2.30|
|WP - Jaime Garcia (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jaime Garcia 92-69, Fernando Salas 3-3, Marc Rzepczynski 1-1, Jason Motte 25-18|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaime Garcia 10-2, Marc Rzepczynski 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Jaime Garcia 30, Fernando Salas 1, Marc Rzepczynski 1, Jason Motte 4|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Gregor Blanco, LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.290|
|Charlie Culberson, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||2||1||.143|
|Angel Pagan, CF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.293|
|Buster Posey, C||4||0||3||1||0||0||1||.295|
|Brett Pill, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.241|
|a- Melky Cabrera, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.331|
|Brandon Belt, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.239|
|Nate Schierholtz, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.272|
|Brandon Crawford, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.217|
|Madison Bumgarner, P||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.143|
|Steve Edlefsen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Aubrey Huff, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.184|
|Emmanuel Burriss, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.222|
|a-grounded out for Pill in the 8th|
|b-flied out for Edlefsen in the 9th|
|2B - Buster Posey (6, Garcia)|
|SH - Charlie Culberson (1)|
|RBI - Buster Posey (14)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Gregor Blanco 1|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Madison Bumgarner (L,5-3)||7.1||7||4||4||0||3||1||3.10|
|Pitches-Strikes - Madison Bumgarner 104-69, Steve Edlefsen 22-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Madison Bumgarner 12-6, Steve Edlefsen 5-0|
|Batters Faced - Madison Bumgarner 28, Steve Edlefsen 7|
|Attendance - 41324|
|Game Time - 2:44|
|Temperature - 53|
|Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Kerwin Danley, Third Base - Paul Nauert|