Game Report: Giants 8, Cardinals 2

A throwing error by Yadier Molina led to a six-run third inning that sent the Giants to their second consecutive win over the Cardinals Friday night in San Francisco.

The loss, combined with the Mets’ win over Minnesota, left the Cardinals three games behind the Giants and two games behind New York in the race for the two wild-card playoff spots. It was the Cardinals’ fifth loss in their last six games. The Cardinals have 15 games remaining in the regular season.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Molina had both of the Cardinals’ RBIs with a single in the fourth inning and a bases-loaded walk in the fifth, but the Cardinals’ attempt to cut more into the Giants lead ended when Jhonny Peralta flew out to end the inning … Matt Carpenter was 2-for-3, the only Cardinal with more than one hit … The Cardinals were just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

On the mound:
Luke Weaver could not pitch around the error by Molina, which came on a throw to second base with one out … Five of the runs scored with two outs, including two driven in on a single by Buster Posey … After getting four hits Thursday night, Posey had three on Friday night, including a two-run homer in the fourth, his first since July 16 … The homer came off Jaime Garcia, making his first relief appearance since he was a rookie in 2008 … The homer was the only hit allowed by Garcia in two innings, and five of his six outs came on strikeouts … Trevor Rosenthal made his first appearance since coming off the DL, working a 1-2-3 eighth inning with two strikeouts.

Of note: The Cardinals have seen Aledmys Diaz, Michael Wacha and Rosenthal return from the DL in the last week, and Matt Holliday might be next. He is scheduled to take live batting practice on Saturday and that should give him a good indication on whether his right thumb, broken on Aug. 11 in Chicago, is strong enough to return to the lineup … The error by Molina was only his second of the season.

Looking ahead:
Mike Leake will get the start against his former team on Saturday while Jeff Samardzija will start for the Giants.