Game Report: Cardinals 3, Giants 2

Randal Grichuk delivered one of the biggest hits of the season for the Cardinals on Saturday night as they rallied for two runs in the ninth inning to beat the Giants in San Francisco.

The Cardinals were just two outs away from a 2-1 loss that would have dropped them four games behind the Giants and three games behind the Mets in the race for the two wild-card spots before Grichuk singled up the middle to drive in pinch-runner Tommy Pham from second and tie the game.

Kolten Wong followed Grichuk’s hit with a sacrifice fly, which scored pinch-runner Jose Martinez, to give the Cardinals the lead.

The Giants got two two-out hits in the bottom of the ninth off Seung Hwan Oh, putting the tying run on second base, before Oh recorded the final out of the game.

With the win, the Cardinals stayed two games behind the Mets, who won in extra innings against the Twins and moved into a tie with the Giants. The Cardinals have 14 games remaining in the regular-season.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate:
Brandon Moss, who had only four hits in his last 58 at-bats, put the Cardinals ahead with his 27th homer of the year in the first inning …. The Cardinals had only three hits from the second through the eighth inning, and could not score additional runs despite putting the leadoff hitter on base four times in those seven innings … In the ninth, Jedd Gyorko’s single began the rally, followed by a walk to Yadier Molina … Grichuk’s hit was the first in the game for the Cardinals with a runner in scoring position … It was the first time the Cardinals scored more than one run in a span of 38 innings and raised their record this season to 6-60 when they were losing going into the ninth inning.

On the mound:
The Giants scored both of their runs off starter Mike Leake, one in the second and one in the fifth but he was able to strand five runners … Zach Duke pitched a 1-2-3 seventh before Oh relieved to start the eighth, his first appearance in eight days after he recovered from a sore groin.

Of note: Matt Holliday’s attempt to return from a broken thumb was hampered Saturday when he was not able to face living batting practice as planned because of swelling in his thumb. The Cardinals said he would be re-evaluated on Sunday … Matt Adams had to come out of the game because of a jammed wrist. … The loss snapped a three-game losing streak for the Cardinals, who have not lost more than four consecutive games since June … In his first three at-bats, Grichuk had grounded into two double plays and struck out.

Looking ahead:
Rookie Alex Reyes gets the start in the series finale on Sunday, taking the spot of Jaime Garcia in the rotation. Albert Suarez is scheduled to start for the Giants.