National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, August 8th (All times eastern)
San Francisco Giants (60-50) at St. Louis Cardinals (60-50), 8:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Ryan Vogelsong (9-5, 2.38) St. Louis - Joe Kelly (2-4, 3.14)
(Sports Network) - All-Star catcher Buster Posey is feeling it.
So much so that he is single-handedly guiding the San Francisco Giants since the break. Posey and the Giants will try to stay in the win column when they resume a four-game road series tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Posey's three-run homer in the first inning of Tuesday's 4-2 win at Busch Stadium put San Francisco ahead to stay and helped the club to its fourth win in five tries. Posey has homered in five of his last six games, and has hit safely in each of his last 11. He has driven in 30 runs since the All-Star break -- the most in the majors -- and 12 in the past six games.
"He's one of those hitters you want out there with men on base, the game on the line," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Posey. "He's got great patience, a great swing. He's just one of those good hitters that's in a real nice groove right now."
Joaquin Arias had two hits and an RBI, while Brandon Belt went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the National League West-leading Giants, who are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for division bragging rights. The Dodgers lost again to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday.
San Francisco has spent the past 25 days in first place and have hit 54 of its 71 home runs on the road this season. It has clubbed eight homers so far on this current road trip and is 5-7 so far on a stretch of 20-straight games. The Giants don't have an off day until Thursday, Aug. 16.
Meanwhile, Giants starter Barry Zito held the Cardinals to two runs in 6 2/3 innings for the win. Clay Hensley, Sergio Romo and Jeremy Affeldt kept St. Louis off the scoreboard the rest of the way, with Affeldt posting his third save of the season.
"He was crisp with all of his pitches. He had a good look about him," Bochy said of Zito.
Ryan Vogelsong draws the start for the Giants Wednesday and has won two of his last three trips to the hill. Vogelsong earned the win in a 16-4 blowout at Colorado on Friday, as he was reached for four runs in 6 1/3 innings to improve to 9-5 in 20 starts to go along with a 2.38 earned run average.
The right-hander and 2011 All-Star is 4-2 in nine road assignments this season, but 1-4 with a 7.65 ERA in 15 career games (5 starts) against the Cardinals. Vogelsong is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA as a starter in this series.
St. Louis had won 13 of 17 games until last night's loss and saw its seven- game home winning streak come to an end.
Allen Craig was the lone bright spot with a pair of home runs and Yadier Molina added two hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Carlos Beltran doubled and is riding a nine-game hit streak.
Lance Lynn didn't pitch so well in the start and yielded four runs and eight hits, including Posey's homer in the first, over six innings. Lynn struck out six and walked three.
"(Lynn) made a mistake to a good hitter and he made him pay," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Posey's blast.
The defending World Series champions still sit 2 1/2 games off a Wild Card spot in the National league and are 4-1 on a seven-game homestand.
Joe Kelly gets the start for St. Louis tonight and will face the Giants for the first time. The rookie right-hander out of California Riverside is 2-4 with a 3.14 ERA in 10 starts and ended a six-game winless (0-4) drought in Friday's 9-3 win over Milwaukee. He allowed three runs and 10 hits through 5 2/3 innings, struck out four and walked two batters.
Kelly also is 1-2 in six starts at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals and Giants split two games at AT&T Park back in May, but San Francisco has won seven of the past 11 meetings between the clubs.
08/08 10:57:56 ET