Friday’s Game Report: Giants 8, Cardinals 2

Friday’s Game Report: Giants 8, Cardinals 2

 By Rob Rains

The way the Cardinals’ offense has struggled this season, they had to be a little envious watching the Giants bat in the eighth inning of Friday night’s game at Busch Stadium.

It took the Giants four pitches against T.J. McFarland to score five runs, blowing open a 3-1 game in the opener of the weekend series.

McFarland relieved with two runners on base and proceeded to give up a single, double and a two-run homer on his four pitches, to the bottom three hitters in the Giants’ lineup.

The Cardinals have lost five of their last six games.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Paul Goldschmidt drove in both runs for the Cardinals with a groundout in the first inning and a home run in the eighth …The Cardinals did not have a hit through the first four innings … They put the leadoff hitter on base five times in the first six innings (two walks, hit by pitch and two singles)  but got only one of those runners past first base … Brendan Donovan reached base three times on an infield single, double and a walk … Nolan Arenado was hitless  in four at-bats and is just 2-of-21 in his last five games … Tyler O’Neill was 0-of-4 and is 2-of-20 over his last five games.

On the mound: The Giants scored their first three runs off starter Jordan Hicks, who worked a career-high five innings. He allowed only three hits but walked  two and hit two batters, both of whom came around to score … Jake Walsh was able to get out of bases loaded jam in ther seventh with a strikeout and flyout but in the eighth, Nick Wittgren gave up a single and walk before he was relieved by McFarland, who has now allowed seven of 14 inherited runners to score this season.

Key stat: The Cardinals have scored three or fewer runs in exactly half of their games this season, 16 of 32.

Worth noting: Goldschmidt’s homer gave the Cardinals at least one home run in their last nine games. He has reached base by either a hit or walk in his last 20 games … When Edmundo Sosa grounded out in the ninth, it left Cardinals’ pinch-hitters 0-of-16 this season … Jordan Walker hit his third homer of the year for Springfield on Friday night.

Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start in the 1:15 p.m. game on Saturday.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.