ST. LOUIS (AP) — Michael Morse homered and drove in three runs and Pablo Sandoval homered and scored twice to propel the San Francisco Giants to a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series.
The Giants, at the start of a seven-game trip to St. Louis and Cincinnati, have won seven of eight.
The Cardinals have dropped three of four to start their nine-game home stand.
Gregor Blanco scored from second on Angel Pagan’s single to center to tie the score at 4-4 in the eighth. Pagan moved to second on Peter Bourjos’ throwing error that bounced on the home plate side of the mound and past three Cardinals, including Carlos Martinez (0-3), who was in front of catcher Yadier Molina rather than backing up the throw.
Trevor Rosenthal came in after Martinez intentionally walked Sandoval, but Morse doubled just past a diving Bourjos to drive in Pagan and Sandoval to give the Giants a 6-4 lead.
Javier Lopez (1-0) got two groundouts in relief of Ryan Vogelsong for his first win since Sept. 22, 2013, at the New York Yankees. Sergio Romo gave up a run on Matt Carpenter’s two-out single, but held on for his 17th save in 19 chances.
Vogelsong allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out five in 6 1-3 innings.
Sandoval’s eighth homer of the season tied the score at 3-3 in the sixth inning. The third baseman has an RBI in each of the past nine games, the first Giant to do that since Barry Bonds in 2000.
Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia went seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits. He struck out seven and has yet to issue a walk this season. He was in line for the victory after Allen Craig hit his sixth homer of the season and second in three games off Vogelsong in the bottom of the sixth.
Vogelsong got into trouble in the fourth when the Cardinals loaded the bases with no outs on Matt Holliday’s single and consecutive walks to Craig and Molina. Jhonny Peralta, batting .111 (5 of 45) with runners in scoring position, grounded into a double play, plating Holliday. John Jay drove in Craig with a single to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead.
Morse tied the score at 1-1 with his ninth homer of the season, a 442-foot blast to left center field, to lead off the second. Brandon Hicks scored on Blanco’s single to give the Giants a 2-1 lead.
St. Louis snapped Vogelsong’s scoreless streak at 13 2/3 innings with a run in the first. Craig’s ground-rule double brought home Carpenter, who singled to lead off and stole second with two outs.
NOTES: Carpenter’s first-inning single extended his NL-best hitting streak to 11 games. . The Giants improved to 9-14 when their opponents score first. . Holliday has reached base safely in all 25 home games. . St. Louis 1B Matt Adams sat for the second consecutive night with a stiff left calf, though he was available as a pinch hitter. . The Cardinals entered the game without a home run off Vogelsong in 68 at-bats and all but three of their 24 hits were for singles. The Giants had just one homer off Garcia in 66 at-bats, but seven of their 19 hits went for extra bases. . St. Louis is set to start Adam Wainwright (8-2, 1.67) against San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner (6-3, 3.15) on Friday night.