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Oracle Park, San Francisco, California Attendance: 28,898
Carlson's RBI hit in 9th lifts Cardinals past Giants 3-2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Dylan Carlson hit an RBI single in the ninth inning to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 3-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.
Designated hitter Juan Yepez doubled with one out off Camilo Doval (0-1) in the ninth. Carlson's timely hit scored pinch runner Brendan Donovan.
"I worked myself into a count where I can be more aggressive," said Carlson, who jumped on a 2-1 pitch.
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol had high praise for Carlson.
"For him to take the at-bat that he had and drive that run in, that's a big moment - not just for him, but for the whole team," Marmol said.
Ryan Helsley (1-0) pitched 1 2/3 innings and earned the win. Giovanny Gallegos picked up his sixth save.
After four scoreless innings, each team scored in the fifth.
Harrison Bader launched a two-run homer to left field for the Cardinals. It was his second of the season.
The Giants countered in the bottom half when pinch-hitter Darin Ruf delivered a two-runs single.
San Francisco lost its fifth straight game and for the seventh time in eight contests. Offense has been a problem for the Giants, who have scored five runs in their last four games.
"One of the things that we did very well last year was keep the line moving, finding ways to get on base even when we weren't driving the baseball," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. "We're not seeing the string of base hits. We're not seeing the string of walks."
Jordan Hicks started for St. Louis and worked 4 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts and two walks.
Alex Cobb worked five innings for the Giants. He allowed three hits and two earned runs with eight strikeouts and a walk.
A TRUE GIANT
San Francisco recalled right-hander Sean Hjelle, their second-round selection in the 2018 draft. Hjelle instantly became one of the more distinct pitchers in the major leagues: At 6-foot-11, he matches former big league right-hander Jon Rauch as the tallest players in big league history.
Asked if he thought he'd never experience this milestone, Hjelle said: "No. It's everything I could have dreamed of." Hjelle has been a starter while compiling a 2-1 record with a 4.37 ERA in five outings for San Francisco's Triple-A Sacramento affiliate. He'll initially be used in relief with the Giants. He became the fourth Giants player to make his big league debut this season by pitching a perfect seventh inning.
"It's an advantage to be very different in the major leagues," said Giants manager Gabe Kapler, who recalled facing 6-foot-10 left-handers Randy Johnson and Chris Young during his playing career. "It was just different.
"Difference creates some discomfort. Discomfort is a good thing for the pitcher. When the batter in the box is uncomfortable, the pitcher on the mound has a slight advantage."
The Giants returned RHP Mauricio Llovera to Sacramento and LHP Sam Long was optioned to Sacramento.
Adam Wainwright, who was having a typically solid season before COVID-19 interrupted his campaign, took to Twitter to issue an upbeat health update.
"Just so everyone knows, I feel great. 100%, with zero symptoms," tweeted Wanwright, the 17-year veteran who was 3-3 with a 3.18 ERA before being sidelined. "Out of an abundance of caution and following MLB protocols I have to test negative twice before I can return. Which we're hoping is very soon. Thanks for thinking about me!"
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty remains tentatively scheduled to throw in the bullpen Saturday as he tries to recover from a small tear in his throwing shoulder. Asked if Flaherty could be compared to a pitcher getting work in the early stages of spring training, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said, "Yes and no" while declining to specify a date when Flaherty could be ready to pitch. ... Marmol said that Cardinals players and personnel are wearing masks whenever they're indoors in an effort to shield themselves from the COVID-19 virus. In other words, he said, it's "pretty similar to what it was" before some mask-related policies were eased.
Giants: As expected, outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. (left knee) was reinstated from the injured list and immediately installed in the leadoff spot to play right field for his first regular-season game ... Tommy LaStella (right Achilles) and third baseman Evan Longoria (right hand) played five innings at second and third base, respectively, as they continued their injury rehabilitation assignments.
Giants ace Logan Webb (3-1, 3.26) will oppose St. Louis left-hander Steven Matz (3-1, 4.56) as the series continues Saturday. Matz has won his last three decisions.
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Updated May 7, 2022