ST. LOUIS (AP) - San Francisco Giants starter Matt Cain has pitched 9 2-3 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals this year.
For eight of them, Cain has been perfect. But the other 1 2-3, not so much. That includes allowing seven runs in the third inning of an 8-0 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon.
Cain's performance was a repeat of a 14-3 loss against St. Louis on April 7. That day, Cain gave up a career-worst nine runs in the fourth inning. The Cardinals sent 13 men to the plate and had eight hits and two walks.
This time, Cain (4-3) retired the first six batters before the Cardinals sent 12 men to the plate and got nine hits.
``I wish I could explain it,' said San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy. ``It was similar to that game against these guys at home.
``They had some good at_bats. But it's unlike anything I've seen. He had great stuff, but he just couldn't stop it. He settled down and ended up pitching great.'
Cain threw 40 pitches in the third. In the other five innings he pitched, Cain set the Cardinals down in order. He threw 101 pitches, striking out nine with no walks.
The trouble came when Cain had to pitch from the stretch. From the windup, he retired 15 of 16 batters. From the stretch, eight of 10 Cardinals got hits.
But Cain insisted he was not tipping his pitches.
``There were some mistakes,' Cain said. ``A lot of pitches (were) over the plate. I made a lot of bad pitches and they took advantage of it.'
He fell to 0-3 at Busch Stadium with an 8.87 ERA in four starts.
``He found a way to get back and regroup and he did that,' Bochy said. ``He did save the bullpen. It's unfortunate the way he was throwing the one inning got us. It's kind of been an issue with us. Not just with Matty but with the staff in general.'
Cardinals rookie Shelby Miller did not make many bad pitches. Miller pitched seven shutout innings and backup catcher Tony Cruz hit two doubles and drove in a pair of runs.
It was the first game of a split doubleheader after being postponed from Friday. The Giants and Cardinals played a doubleheader in St. Louis for the first time since July 16, 1978.
Miller (6-3) scattered six hits, stranding seven runners. His ERA dropped to 1.82 as Miller struck out seven with one walk.
``You have to stay humble about the whole experience,' Miller said. ``It's not always going to be pretty and (I'm) not always going to pitch this good. I soak it up and try to learn something new every day and hang around the veterans.
``Every time I go out there, it's a learning experience and I learn something new.'
Cruz, starting at catcher instead of Yadier Molina, smacked a two-run double in the third. Daniel Descalso hit a double and a single while Pete Kozma had two singles in the outburst.
Matt Carpenter, John Jay, Allen Craig, Matt Adams and Descalso each had RBI singles. Descalso got his second RBI on a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Brandon Crawford had three singles for the Giants.
NOTES: This was the first time the Giants and Cardinals played a doubleheader since April 9, 1994, when the teams met at Candlestick Park and split. ... The Giants have lost six of their last nine games and 11 of their last 17. ... San Francisco has lost its last six road games and eight of its last nine.
The Associated Press News Service
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