Game Report: Cardinals 8, Giants 3

By Rob Rains

In a week that saw games go awry at times, the Cardinals finally found some positive developments to talk about in Sunday’s win over the Giants at Busch Stadium.

Perhaps the most important was another quality start from Adam Wainwright, who allowed just one run in 6 1/3 innings as the Cardinals stopped a four-game losing streak.

An offense that had been limited to six runs in their previous 33 innings had a breakout game, led by four RBIs from Randal Grichuk.

And beleaguered reliever Brett Cecil retired two lefthanded batters with two runners on base to get out of the seventh inning.

“It was the kind of homestand where we played better than the record (3-5) showed,” said manager Mike Matheny. “We had some lapses late and it hurt us.

“There were a lot of positive things today, a lot of plusses to build off.”

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Grichuk’s bases-loaded double brought in all three runners and he then scored on a sacrifice fly in the second as the Cardinals matched their season-high for runs in an inning … Matt Carpenter’s two-run homer, his team-leading ninth of the season, increased the lead to 6-1 in the fifth before Wainwright doubled in a run in the sixth and Grichuk added his fourth RBI of the day with his second double in the eighth … Jhonny Peralta got the start at third base and was 2-of-3 with a walk … Aledmys Diaz added two doubles to the 12-hit attack … Yadier Molina’s third-inning single extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

On the mound: Wainwright extended the streak of scoreless innings from the Cardinals starters to 17 before giving up a run in the third, the only run he allowed in 6 1/3 innings. He allowed five hits, walked three and struck out six as he lowered his ERA for the year from 5.31 to 4.81 … Cecil relieved with runners on first and second and retired Denard Span and Joe Panik to end the seventh … Miguel Socolovich gave up back-to-back homers in the eighth.

Key stat: In the eight-game homestand, the Cardinals starters allowed just 10 runs in 54 innings, a combined ERA of 1.67. The bullpen allowed 15 runs in 26 innings, a combined ERA of 5.19.

Worth noting: Kolten Wong was out of the lineup because of a sore left elbow, which he apparently hurt while he was preparing for his first at-bat on Saturday night. Matheny said Wong’s status was day-to-day … Cain is the only active pitcher in the majors whom Matheny caught. The two were together for 15 games in 2005 and 2006 with the Giants … Cain fell to 0-4 in his career at Busch Stadium with a 8.29 ERA (31 earned runs in 33 2/3 innings), the highest in any stadium where he has made more than one start … Diaz hit seventh for the first time this season and has now started games hitting second, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth … Wainwright’s double produced his fifth RBI of the year and his first against the Giants since his first career hit, a home run, in 2006.

Looking ahead: After a day off Monday, the Cardinals open a three-game series in Los Angeles Tuesday night. The Cardinals will be trying to win their 10th consecutive road game, which would be the second longest streak in franchise history, but to do it they will have to beat Clayton Kershaw. Lance Lynn will start for the Cardinals. The team record is 12 consecutive wins, set in 1941.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains