ST. LOUIS (AP) - Yadier Molina wants to set the record straight.
The St. Louis catcher, who was ejected in the third inning of the Cardinals' 4-2 loss to San Francisco on Sunday afternoon, was not angry with first base umpire Clint Fagan on the play.
Instead, Molina was angry with himself.
``I know I was out,' Molina said. ``I was not upset with the umpire. I was upset with the play.'
Molina angrily slammed his helmet to the ground after he was called out on a close play at first. Shortstop Brandon Crawford ranged deep into the hole to field the hard-hit ground ball and threw Molina out to end a threat with two runners on base.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny came out to protect Molina and was also tossed by Fagan.
Molina was ejected for the third time in his career and first time since Aug. 2, 2011 at Milwaukee. Matheny was tossed for the third time as a manager.
``He never said a word to the umpire,' Matheny said. ``He was frustrated because he thought the ball was through and that it would be a run for our club. It's a shame. The guy (Molina) plays with passion. I don't know how you could make that call if you are not looking out for it.'
Matheny said the call, ``changed the game for us.'
Crew chief Tim Welke said Fagan's decision was the correct one.
``It was a bang-bang play, a violent reaction, an ejection,' he said. ``Unfortunately, things like that happen.'
San Francisco right-hander Chad Gaudin started on the mound for the first time in over three years and tossed six strong innings to lead the Giants to the win, which ended their seven-game road skid.
Brandon Belt hit a two-run pinch-hit double to break a 2-2 tie in the seventh. Buster Posey, who entered the game in a 2 for 20 skid, went 4 for 4 with two doubles to pace an 11-hit attack.
Gaudin (1-1), in his first start since Sept. 28, 2009 as a member of the New York Yankees, allowed four hits and two runs, both coming on a two-run homer by David Freese in the fourth. He struck out five and did not walk a batter. Gaudin, who set the side down in order in four of six innings, is temporarily replacing Ryan Vogelsong in the rotation. Vogelsong broke several bones in his right hand May 20.
``It was nice,' Gaudin said of the starting assignment, ``I made a couple of minor league starts, but it was refreshing to get back out there and do that.'
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said Gaudin's performance came at a perfect time for his beleaguered staff.
``He gave us a huge shot in the arm,' he said. ``He went out there and threw quality strikes and actually went a little further than we ever thought.'
Bochy said before the game that he was hoping to get four, maybe five innings from Gaudin.
Instead, Gaudin rolled through six frames on 79 pitches, 55 strikes. In his first start after 117 successive relief appearances, Gaudin recorded his first win since Oct. 2, 2012 when he was a reliever with the Miami Marlins.
``I wanted to go out there and give the team a chance to win and also give them some innings,' Gaudin said. ``I thought I was throwing aggressively and pitching with what I had.'
The Giants offense, which had scored just seven runs in its previous six road games, gave Gaudin enough offensive support.
Belt slammed the first pitch from reliever Randy Choate into the gap in left-center to bring in Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco for a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning. Crawford began the rally with a single off St. Louis rookie Tyler Lyons (2-1).
Closer Sergio Romo recorded four outs for his 15th save in 17 opportunities. He got Freese to ground out with Allen Craig on first to end the game.
San Francisco scored single runs in the second and third off Lyons. Posey and Hunter Pence hit back-to-back doubles in the third.
``I hit a couple balls hard that found a couple of holes,' Posey said. ``So now, it's just a matter of keeping on.'
Posey raised his average 15 points to .308 with the four-hit effort.
Freese tied the game with his third homer of the season. He has hit safely in a career-tying 12 successive games.
``I'm seeing the baseball and trying to consistently hit the ball hard somewhere,' he said. ``It's all about the approach at the plate.'
Lyons allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings in his third start. He allowed one run over seven innings in winning his two previous starts.
``I was inconsistent from the beginning,' Lyons said. ``I was fighting myself, just trying my best to eat up a few innings.'
NOTES: St. Louis has used eight pitchers age 25 and younger this season including Lyons, 25. .... The Cardinals host Arizona in a four-game series beginning Monday. Lance Lynn (7-1, 2.91) will face Trevor Cahill (3-5, 2.88). The Giants have an off day Monday before hosting Toronto in a two-game set starting Tuesday. Tim Lincecum (3-5, 5.12) goes against Josh Johnson (0-1, 6.86). San Francisco OF Angel Pagan missed his eighth successive game with a strained left hamstring. ... Giants IF Pablo Sandoval, who last played on Thursday, could be out as much as a week with a strain in his left foot. ... St. Louis OF Jon Jay broke out of a 1-for-27 skid with a third-inning single. ... St. Louis INF Matt Carpenter extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the third inning.
Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.