ST. LOUIS (AP) - No celebrating for Colby Rasmus after a career-best six-RBI game. The St. Louis Cardinals' center fielder blamed himself for a misplay that helped put the game out of reach.
Aubrey Huff hit three home runs and matched his career best with six RBIs and the San Francisco Giants hammered a pair of rookie pitchers making their major league debuts in a 12-7 victory on Thursday night.
Rasmus hit his second career grand slam and had a two-run triple to help make it a contest for the Cardinals, who dropped three of four at home to the Giants for the first time since June 30-July 3, 2003. But he was guilty of gliding on pitcher Jonathan Sanchez' leadoff double in a three-run sixth.
``Off the bat, I didn't think it was going to go quite that far,' Rasmus said. ``It just didn't go where I thought it was going. I felt like I've been running down balls all right.
``I ain't going to blame it on anything. I just missed the play.'
Rasmus is among the league leaders with six triples, topping his total of five the previous two seasons. He's been streaky at the plate with three multihit games in his last 13 games and nine games without a hit and is batting .279 with five homers and 26 RBIs, third-best on the team.
``Some days it finds the barrel and some days it don't,' Rasmus said. ``I go through times where I look like I'm lost up there, but I try to put good swings on them and it just ain't happening for me.
``And then like tonight, I run into some pitches that I hit.'
Albert Pujols had two hits, a steal and scored twice for the Cardinals.
Huff, who entered batting .219, hit two-run homers in the fourth and ninth and a solo shot in the seventh for his first three-homer game. He also had an RBI single in the sixth. Huff raised his average 14 points while leading the surge for the Giants, who set a season high for runs.
Huff has four homers and seven RBIs the last two games after totaling four RBIs the previous 16 games.
Freddy Sanchez added a homer and four RBIs for San Francisco.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals had been 13-1-1 in their previous 15 series since dropping two of three at San Francisco from April 8-10, leaving town with a 3-6 record.
Triple-A callup Lance Lynn (0-1) needed 56 pitches to get through five innings working on three days' rest, but retired only one of four hitters to start the Giants' three-run sixth. Double-A reinforcement Mikail Cleto hit 98 mph several times on the stadium radar in the seventh but walked the first two hitters and surrendered back-to-back homers to Sanchez and Huff in a five-run inning that made it 10-3.
Lynn retired the first 10 batters in order before faltering.
``I felt good and it's good to get it under my belt,' Lynn said. ``I need to keep pushing and fighting to get deeper into games.
Manager Tony La Russa slotted Lynn ahead of Jaime Garcia in the rotation, giving the left-hander an extra day to get over a disastrous outing in which he surrendered 12 runs in 3 1-3 innings in Colorado. The move also set up Garcia, Kyle Lohse and Chris Carpenter to face the Cubs in a weekend series starting Friday, but left the Cardinals short in the Giants finale.
La Russa was out to the mound for a pep talk with Cleto before Huff finished rounding the bases on his seventh homer of the season.
Jonathan Sanchez (4-3) allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings, surviving a season-high six walks. Freddy Sanchez had a season high for RBIs with a three-run homer in the seventh and a run-scoring groundout in the sixth.
Rasmus' two-run triple put the Cardinals ahead 3-0 in the third and his grand slam came in the seventh against Guillermo Mota, who has allowed at least one run in his last five appearances with a total of eight runs allowed. Hitters are 11 for 23 against him during that stretch.
NOTES: Ryan Theriot singled in the second and is batting .387 (26-for-67) during a career-best 16-game hitting streak, the longest current run in the majors. ... Giants manager Bruce Bochy doesn't think injured 2B Mark DeRosa (wrist) is close to returning, adding, ``He says he doesn't feel anything, which shocks me.' ... Huff has 13 career multihomer games. ... Two Cardinals pitchers made their debut in the same game for the first time since 1994 (Frank Cimorelli and Bryan Eversgerd). ... Allen Craig had an RBI double is 11-for-22 during a seven-game hitting streak. ... RHP Jake Westbrook struck out on three pitches in his first career pinch-hit appearance. He was a curious choice, given he's 2-for-19 on the year with eight strikeouts.
The Associated Press News Service
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