It was a situation tailor-made to break a scoring drought: bases loaded with nobody out.
Instead of capitalizing, St. Louis hitters struck out twice against Tim Lincecum before bowing out of the fourth inning. The San Francisco Giants then scored three times in the bottom half of the frame en route to a 5-0 win over the Cardinals at AT&T Park. St. Louis was unable to score for the second straight game, and is now mired in a 24-inning scoreless drought.
The promise in the fourth was palpable after Jhonny Peralta’s leadoff double, and a Matt Adams single that followed. Lincecum hit Yadier Molina with a pitch to load the bases, but got Allen Craig and Jon Jay to strike out swinging, and induced a groundout from Daniel Descalso to strand all three baserunners.
Cardinals starter Marco Gonzales ran into trouble in the fourth for the second straight game. Hunter Pence singled to lead off the frame for the Giants, and a Buster Posey double knocked him in. Pablo Sandoval came up next and homered to left field to give San Francisco a 3-0 lead it would not relinquish. Gonzales completed only 4.1 innings, allowing all five runs on seven hits, with four walks and two strikeouts. Lincecum was great in his first outing after a no-hitter, completing eight innings with only four hits and six strikeouts. Cardinal call-up Oscar Taveras batted second in the order and went 0-for-3 with a walk in his first game after being recalled from AAA Memphis.
St. Louis will hope for some offense out west Wednesday night in San Francisco. Adam Wainwright is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Cardinals, opposing Ryan Vogelsong of the Giants. Pregame coverage starts at 8:20 pm on ESPN 103.1 and 1580 AM KTGR.