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St. Louis at San Francisco

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St. Louis (2-3) «1000310016110
San Francisco (3-2)011000010370

Beltran, Kozma key as Cardinals cruise past Giants

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Carlos Beltran is a realist. The St. Louis Cardinals' season has just begun, so there's not a lot that can be told from one lousy game -- like Friday -- or one in which the offense clicks up and down the order as it did a day later.

Yet he is pretty sure the latter provides a better glimpse of what this team can be.

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Beltran hit a go-ahead two-run single in the fifth against his former team and Shelby Miller beat the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants in his second career start, spoiling Buster Posey's MVP party at AT&T Park with a 6-3 win on Saturday.

"I feel good, man," Beltran said. "This is a good team, a good lineup. We have guys from top to bottom who can do the job. It's fun. As a player, you just want to go out there and be part of it."

Pete Kozma had three hits, drove in a run and scored for St. Louis from the No. 8 spot in the order, Matt Holliday singled in a run and Matt Carpenter added an RBI single in the ninth.

Beltran also hit an RBI single in the first against Ryan Vogelsong (0-1) in a matchup of the teams that won the past three World Series - and a rematch of last fall's NL championship series won in seven games by the Giants.

Hunter Pence hit a solo homer in the second and Pablo Sandoval homered and hit an RBI single. He also played more strong defense for San Francisco on a day Vogelsong (0-1) struggled to consistently command the strike zone.

Posey received his NL MVP plaque in another highlight-filled pregame ceremony, and the Giants will have yet another day of celebrating before Sunday's game with the World Series ring presentation.

Posey also was honored for his batting title and Silver Slugger award. Kevin Mitchell, the 1989 NL MVP, and 2000 MVP Jeff Kent took part, along with former MVP winners and Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Willie McCovey.

"It was definitely a different pregame for me than normal but it was nice to be able to celebrate that with the fans," Posey said.

St. Louis' pitchers faced baserunners every inning but limited the damage.

Miller (1-0) walked Pence with one out in the sixth, then Randy Choate relieved and walked Brandon Belt on four pitches before pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias lined the first pitch he saw into a double play to first baseman Allen Craig.

Miller, the Cardinals' top pitching prospect, allowed four hits and two runs in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out four and walked four in the first road start of his career.

He went 2-0 with a 3.94 ERA in three spring training starts and five overall appearances, and faced San Francisco twice in relief during last fall's NLCS.

Miller credited catcher Yadier Molina for his guidance to stick with his off-speed pitches even when he left them up in the zone and the Giants made contact.

"That's just the lessons I'll have to work on, trusting my curveball," he said.

Mitchell Boggs, filling in for injured closer Jason Motte, finished for his first save after blowing his initial chance.

The Cardinals earned their second win of the year, giving their pitchers plenty of offense a day after getting three-hit by Barry Zito and two relievers in a 1-0 loss.

After Jon Jay's foul popup to start the game, Carpenter reached on an infield single and advanced on a passed ball during Holliday's strikeout. Carpenter reached third on a wild pitch as Craig batted. Craig, who had two of his team's three hits Friday, walked and Beltran singled home Carpenter.

The earned run ended a stretch of 26 straight innings without allowing one to begin the year for San Francisco's starters. Vogelsong needed 28 pitches to get through the inning.

After that, Vogelsong allowed Kozma's one-out single in the second before retiring the next eight St. Louis batters in order.

World Series MVP Sandoval homered leading off the eighth for his second of the year. Posey followed with a double for his lone hit of the game on a day the first 40,000 fans received his bobblehead doll -- just about everybody in the sellout crowd of 41,402.

Sandoval said he is still finding his timing after missing 13 games late in spring training with an inflamed nerve in his right elbow.

"You want me to tell you the truth?" he said. "A little bit lost."

Notes

  • Cardinals 3B David Freese, on the disabled list with a strained lower back, went 1 for 4 with a double and two RBIs on Friday in a minor league rehab game with Triple-A Memphis against Oklahoma City. The hope has been that he would return in time for the home opener Monday against Cincinnati. "We'll see how things go," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's going to do some extra running today and really put a good pounding on his back."
  • Belt lost 11 pounds to get down to 218 with his stomach bug earlier in the week. He last threw up Wednesday, but the 1B was still working to get back his strength. He has been eating protein bars between innings. "That's the battle, getting the weight back," Belt said.
  • San Francisco's win Friday came on Angel Pagan's bases-loaded walk, the first time the Giants won a 1-0 game via an RBI free pass since Dick Groat drew one in the top of the 21st inning on Sept. 1, 1967, at Cincinnati, the Giants said, according to Elias.
  • Giants' Double-A Richmond pitchers Jack Snodgrass and Daryl Maday combined on the first no-hitter in team history Friday night in the second game of a doubleheader vs. New Britain.
 
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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Shortstop Pete Kozma has three hits, drives in a run and scores for St. Louis from the No. 8 spot in the order. (Getty Images)
Shortstop Pete Kozma has three hits, drives in a run and scores for St. Louis from the No. 8 spot in the order. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

P. Sandoval
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
St. Louis

C. Beltran
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jon Jay, CF4000002 .208
Matt Carpenter, 3B4221111 .250
Matt Holliday, LF5111021 .182
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
Allen Craig, 1B3010110 .250
Carlos Beltran, RF4023010 .214
Yadier Molina, C4000004 .200
Daniel Descalso, 2B4110000 .286
Pete Kozma, SS4131000 .350
Shelby Miller, P2000022 .000
    Randy Choate, P0000000 .000
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
    Edward Mujica, P0000000 .000
   a- Shane Robinson, PH-LF1110000 .500
Totals35611627  
a-singled for Mujica in the 9th
Batting
SH - Jon Jay (1), Shelby Miller (1)
RBI - Matt Carpenter (1), Matt Holliday (5), Carlos Beltran 3 (3), Pete Kozma (3)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Holliday (2), Carlos Beltran 3 (3)
SB - Daniel Descalso (1, 2nd base off Vogelsong/Posey)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Craig
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Shelby Miller (W,1-0) 5.1422441 3.38
Randy Choate (H,1) 0.2000100 0.00
Fernando Salas (H,1) 1000010 8.10
Edward Mujica (H,3) 1211011 2.70
Mitchell Boggs (S,1) 1100010 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - Shelby Miller 95-57, Randy Choate 5-1, Fernando Salas 8-5, Edward Mujica 12-9, Mitchell Boggs 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shelby Miller 6-6
Batters Faced - Shelby Miller 24, Randy Choate 2, Fernando Salas 3, Edward Mujica 5, Mitchell Boggs 4
San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Angel Pagan, CF5120021 .300
Marco Scutaro, 2B4010102 .105
Pablo Sandoval, 3B4122002 .278
Buster Posey, C4010012 .235
Hunter Pence, RF3111121 .294
Brandon Belt, 1B3000101 .000
Gregor Blanco, LF1000100 .286
   a- Joaquin Arias, PH1000002 .286
    George Kontos, P0000000 .000
   b- Hector Sanchez, PH1000001 .250
    Javier Lopez, P0000000 .000
    Santiago Casilla, P0000000 .000
Brandon Crawford, SS3000101 .176
Ryan Vogelsong, P2000010 .000
    Jose Mijares, P0000000 .000
    Andres Torres, LF2000011 .111
Totals3337357  
a-lined out for Blanco in the 6th
b-flied out for Kontos in the 8th
Batting
2B - Buster Posey (1, Mujica)
HR - Pablo Sandoval (2, Mujica), Hunter Pence (2, Miller)
RBI - Pablo Sandoval 2 (4), Hunter Pence (2)
2-OUT RBI - Pablo Sandoval (3)
SB - Hunter Pence (1, 2nd base off Miller/Molina)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Crawford-Scutaro-Belt
PB - Buster Posey (1)
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ryan Vogelsong (L,0-1) 5.1955260 8.44
Jose Mijares 0.2000000 13.50
George Kontos 2000010 7.36
Javier Lopez 0.1211000 13.50
Santiago Casilla 0.2000000 13.50
WP - Ryan Vogelsong (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Vogelsong 90-58, Jose Mijares 6-4, George Kontos 18-14, Javier Lopez 11-7, Santiago Casilla 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Vogelsong 5-5, George Kontos 2-3, Javier Lopez 1-0, Santiago Casilla 1-0
Batters Faced - Ryan Vogelsong 27, Jose Mijares 2, George Kontos 6, Javier Lopez 3, Santiago Casilla 1
Game Information
Attendance - 41402
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - John Tumpane, Third Base - Dana DeMuth