Friday night's game in St. Louis featured a marquee pitching matchup that appeared to slightly favor the home squad. Madison Bumgarner has been one of the better road pitchers in baseball this season, but Adam Wainwright came into the game with a 20-inning scoreless streak and the best ERA in the majors.
As pitchers' duels go, this one was rather one-sided.
The Giants jumped all over Wainwright early and never let up, scoring seven runs against the Cardinals ace and knocking him out in the fifth inning of a game they'd eventually win 9-4.
Bumgarner held up his end of the bargain, pitching seven scoreless innings while allowing just three hits and striking out 10.
Buster Posey sat out for the second straight game due to nerve irritation in his back. With the Giants riding a four-game winning streak and scoring 15 runs in the first two games of this road trip, they might consider resting Posey for another day, maybe three.
Starting pitching report
With the Giants throwing Wainwright off his game for at least one night, Bumgarner may be the hottest pitcher in the National League. The Giants lefty has struck out 20 over 14 innings while allowing one run, six hits and one walk over his last two starts.
The only threat the Cardinals mounted came after Bumgarner walked Matt Holliday to lead off the fourth inning. Allen Craig followed with a double-play grounder, but Brandon Hicks dropped the feed from Crawford. However, St. Louis squandered the opportunity as Yadier Molina flied out to right and Jhonny Peralta grounded into a double play.
Bumgarner should receive some consideration when the voters choose the next NL pitcher of the month. He went 5-0 in six May starts, posting a 2.08 ERA and striking out 48 in 39 innings.
David Huff's days may be numbered. After allowing four earned runs in his previous outing, he got a shot to figure things out with a 9-0 lead in the eighth inning. After retiring the first two hitters he faced, Huff hit a batter, walked two more and gave up a double to Jon Jay.
Juan Gutierrez came in and allowed a double to Holliday before retiring four straight. He struck out the side in the ninth.
At the plate
The Giants broke Wainwright's scoreless streak in the first when Michael Morse drove in Angel Pagan with a two-out single.
Once Wainwright recorded two outs in the second inning, the floodgates opened. Brandon Hicks drew a full-count walk, and Bumgarner lined a sinker into left field for a single. Pagan, who went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .326, waited on a first-pitch curveball and smacked a single up the middle to score Hicks.
Up stepped Pence, who hit a home run to left against Wainwright in Game 4 of the 2012 NLCS. He repeated that feat and then some tonight with a 447-foot blast into the third deck in left – that's right, Big Mac Land -- to give the Giants a 5-0 lead.
Wainwright looked a little more like himself in the third and fourth innings, but the wear and tear of the first two frames caught up with him in the fifth. Pablo Sandoval hit a single, and Morse drove a double to right that he capped with a thunderous feet-first slide into second that came close to registering on the Richter scale.
That sent Wainwright to the showers after four and a third innings, his shortest outing of the season. Gregor Blanco's single to right center drove in Sandoval and Morse, pushing Wainwright's ERA to 2.32 on the season -- his ERA was 1.67 coming in.
Sandoval went 2-for-5, but his streak of games with a run batted in ended at nine. He almost picked up an RBI on a double to deep right in the seventh, but Pence was held up at third as right fielder Randal Grichuk misplayed the ball. Sandoval will just have to be satisfied with his standard hitting streak, which he extended to 10 games.
In the field
Besides the dropped throw at second by Hicks, the Giants had no trouble defensively.
43,107 fans watched the road team run their MLB-best record to 36-19.
With Matt Cain landing on the DL earlier today, Yusmeiro Petit (3-2, 5.08 ERA) will make his fifth start of the season. He'll face right-hander Michael Wacha (3-3, 2.67). Tim Hudson (5-2, 1.92) and right-hander Lance Lynn (6-2, 3.13) will attempt to stage an actual pitchers' duel on Sunday, and the Giants have Monday off before heading to Cincinnati for a three-game series against the Reds.