Right-hander Joel Pineiro, in his first start since coming off the disabled list where he was recovering from shoulder problems, didn't miss too many bats on Sunday. In fact, he missed none.
Facing 21 hitters in 3 2/3 innings, Pineiro neither walked nor struck out anybody as he gave up 10 hits and six earned runs. Pineiro, eager to please, also didn't help himself defensively, deflecting two balls for hits that would have been outs, including a "kick save" stop of a fourth-inning bouncer by San Francisco catcher Bengie Molina, a slow runner who would have been retired easily. Two batters later, a 2-1 Cardinals lead had become a deficit as Pineiro gave up a homer to right fielder John Bowker.
The Giants would add three more runs in the inning off Pineiro, who seemed to be throwing easily enough but had ragged location.
Manager Tony La Russa, with the Cardinals having their only scheduled day off coming on Monday, tried to give two consecutive days off for such regulars as first baseman Albert Pujols, third baseman Troy Glaus and shortstop Cesar Izturis. But only Izturis rested the entire game as the other two both walked in pinch-hitting appearances and then stayed in on defense for the Giants' final at-bat.
Third baseman Rico Washington made the first start of his big-league career and failed to come up with a ground ball that was scored a hit in the Giants' five-run fourth inning.
Giants 7, Cardinals 4: After winning their first three series, the Cardinals had to settle for a split in this four-game set. Fourteen of their 27 outs Sunday were recorded by strikeouts, including 11 in six innings against hard-throwing San Francisco righty Tim Lincecum.
Still, the Cardinals had the tying run at the plate three times in the ninth inning, but right fielder Ryan Ludwick and left fielder Chris Duncan were both called out on strikes on questionable pitches and third baseman Rico Washington flied out.
• Before losing on Sunday, the Cardinals started off 9-3 for the first time since 1982, when they won the World Series.
• LF Chris Duncan had just three hits in his first 18 at-bats before homering, doubling and singling in his last three at-bats Saturday in San Francisco and then going 2-for-5 (three strikeouts) on Sunday.
• RF Ryan Ludwick, who has only 35 at-bats, has 10 RBIs after hitting a solo homer and singling in a run on Sunday.
• C Yadier Molina was the only Cardinals' regular not to strike out on Sunday.
• LF Skip Schumaker finished the seven-game trip at 10-for-26 (.385).
By The Numbers: 15 1/3-Number of scoreless innings as a Cardinal for RHP Kyle Lohse before he allowed two runs in the fourth inning last Friday against San Francisco.
- Jay (StLDieHard)