Ryan Franklin's stuff doesn't feel that far off. Still, the Cardinals' closer is bewildered by his slow April start.
Three blown saves in four chances. Two in as many games during St. Louis' series against the reigning champion Giants.
Just when Franklin (0-1) looked poised to bounce back from a rough outing Friday, San Francisco rallied again.
Miguel Tejada hit a two-run double that glanced off the glove of center fielder Colby Rasmus with two outs in the ninth inning and the Giants found a way late for the second straight day, beating the Cardinals 3-2 on Saturday night a few hours after receiving their World Series rings.
"I'm having a tough time right now," Franklin said. "I did it before and I can do it again. I've always been a fast starter. I get two or three good months in a row right at the beginning. This is tough, real tough."
St. Louis lost 5-4 in 12 innings Friday.
The Giants celebrated this one as though they had just won the championship all over again, with ace Tim Lincecum among those who sprinted out of the dugout to hug Tejada. The team's new shortstop skipped in jubilation after his 15th career game-ending hit.
Franklin allowed Buster Posey's one-out single and then a walk to Burrell. Aaron Rowand flied out to bring up Tejada, who fouled off pitches down each base line before coming through with the big hit off a fastball.
"Believe me, he feels a lot worse about this than any of his teammates do," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said of Franklin.
Rasmus ran down Tejada's high drive at the edge of the warning track in left-center, but tried to catch it by his hip and the ball deflected off his glove to the ground. Both runners scored easily.
"It definitely ruined my evening," Rasmus said. "I felt like I got a real good jump on it."
The finish spoiled a solid start by St. Louis lefty Jaime Garcia, who outdueled Matt Cain and struck out a career-best nine batters for the second straight outing this year.
Rasmus hit a go-ahead homer leading off the seventh. Cain had gone 32 1-3 innings without allowing an earned run dating to last year before Skip Schumaker scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.
Mark DeRosa drove in San Francisco's first run with a single in the fifth while making a rare start.
Tejada, the 2002 AL MVP across the bay with Oakland, then gave the sellout crowd of 41,742 even more to cheer about as fans continue to celebrate the city's first title since the club came West in 1958.
Garcia threw his first career complete game against San Francisco last Aug. 22, a three-hit shutout in a 9-0 victory at Busch Stadium — and appeared headed for another impressive win. Garcia held the Giants scoreless over 14 innings dating to last year before allowing DeRosa's single.
He gave up four hits and one run and walked one in six innings Saturday.
"I'm happy with the way we're competing but I'm not happy with the results," La Russa said of his team's 2-6 start.
Cain carried a streak of 27 1-3 innings without allowing an earned run into his second outing of the year after he tossed six shutout innings last Saturday against the Dodgers.
The right-hander and longest-tenured member of the Giants didn't allow an earned run in 21 1-3 innings during last fall's improbable postseason run.
On Sunday, Posey — San Francisco's NL Rookie of the Year catcher — will be presented with his award in yet another pregame ceremony.
NOTES: Cardinals cleanup hitter Matt Holliday deemed himself set to return to the lineup for Sunday's series finale against LHP Barry Zito, though La Russa didn't commit. The slugger underwent an appendectomy on April 1. ... Giants manager Bruce Bochy thanked a few of the Cardinals players for their patience waiting through Friday's 50-minute pregame ceremony. ... The Cardinals have lost 10 of their last 14 at AT&T Park dating to 2007.