A day that began with the Giants celebrating last year’s World Series championship quickly turned sour, as starter Matt Cain gave up nine earned runs in the fourth inning on the way to a 14-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on Sunday.
Cain started the game strong, throwing three perfect innings and entered the fourth with a 2-0 lead. Thing quickly unraveled, though, as he allowed eight hits and a walk before departing with two outs in the fourth and a 7-2 lead for the Cardinals. Two more runs were credited to Cain’s record after lefty Jose Mijares allowed a two-run single to Carlos Beltran.
The nine earned runs tied a career high for Cain, who last allowed as many against the Cardinals on April 18, 2009. He is only the second Giants starting pitcher to give up at least nine runs in an inning, joining John Cronin, who did so in 1902 against the Brooklyn Superbas, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
The outburst included only one extra-base hit — a ground rule double by Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams that bounced over the wall in Triples Alley.
“You like to go out there and throw the ball well and I just didn’t feel like I threw the ball well in the fourth inning for some reason, and they took advantage of it,” Cain said.
Manager Bruce Bochy didn’t have any better explanation for what went awry.
“He was throwing the ball so well there,” Bochy said of Cain. “It happens occasionally, you get in one of those innings and that third out just seems like it’s the hardest one to get. That’s what happened in that fourth inning. There’s nothing that can be said.”
Second baseman Matt Carpenter led the way for the Redbirds, piling up three RBIs on three hits and scoring three times before being pulled in a double switch. Adams also collected three hits with two RBIs.
The Giants took the early lead on doubles by Brandon Crawford and Angel Pagan in the third inning, followed by an RBI single for Pablo Sandoval, giving him his fifth RBI in six games this season. The Giants didn’t score again until a two-out rally in the bottom of the ninth fell far short of getting them back in the game.
NOTES: Brandon Belt said before the game that the stomach virus that kept him out of the Dodgers series resulted in him losing 11 pounds, weight he is trying to put back on. He recorded his first hit of the season with a single in the ninth. ... Infielder Nick Noonan followed Belt by recording his first major league hit, a line drive into center field for a single. ... The Giants are now just 4-for-28 with runners in scoring position for the season.