Chris Duncan lined a go-ahead single to left with the bases loaded in the 10th inning and the St. Louis Cardinals battered the San Francisco bullpen for an 8-7 victory Saturday to spoil a gem by Giants starter Matt Cain.
Cain had a no-hitter heading into the seventh, but Albert Pujols ended it with a leadoff double. It was the fourth time in Cain's career he hadn't allowed a hit going into the seventh.
St. Louis took advantage of two walks, one intentional, and a hit batsman by Erick Threets (0-1) in the 10th. Jason Isringhausen (1-0) blew his first save in six chances this season in the ninth but still earned the win, then Anthony Reyes finished for his first save in as many tries.
San Francisco's Fred Lewis doubled in the tying run with two outs in the ninth, and the ball glanced off first baseman Albert Pujols' glove and into shallow right field. Rich Aurilia's RBI single got the Giants within 7-6.
The Cardinals had gone ahead in the top of the ninth on Ryan Ludwick's two-run homer off Brad Hennessey. Duncan pulled the Cardinals within 5-3 on a solo home run off Tyler Walker leading off the eighth, then Rick Ankiel hit a tying two-run shot two batters later. Walker, who had not given up a run in his first five outings, was booed walking off the field.
Cain also homered to break a scoreless tie and John Bowker hit a three-run shot in his major league debut for San Francisco, which blew a 5-0 lead to deny Cain his first victory.
Bowker, called up earlier in the day to start in right field, also singled in his first career at-bat. After his sixth-inning homer, Bowker received a curtain call and came back out of the dugout and tipped his cap to a standing ovation.
He became the eighth San Francisco player to homer in his first major league game, joining the likes of Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda and the late Bobby Bonds.
Cain hit the first pitch of the sixth inning from Todd Wellemeyer into the left-field seats for his third career homer, and the first by a Giants pitcher since Noah Lowry connected last Aug. 24, against Milwaukee.
Both starters were on from first pitch, combining for eight strikeouts through two innings.
The 23-year-old Cain was the Giants' hard-luck pitcher in 2007, going 7-16 despite consistently pitching well in his second full season in the majors. San Francisco was 9-23 in his starts and the bullpen blew five of Cain's leads.
He struck out five and walked three in 6 2-3 innings Saturday, giving up two runs and three hits in his first career appearance against St. Louis.
Wellemeyer struck out seven and walked three in six innings, allowing five earned runs and five hits.
Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand rested his sore groin for a second straight day.
Notes:@ Isringhausen had been 6-for-6 saving games in the Giants' waterfront ballpark. ... San Francisco hasn't had a no-hitter since John Montefusco no-hit Atlanta on Sept. 29, 1976. ... San Francisco is 0-6 in afternoon games. ... Saturday marked the 48th anniversary of the opening of Candlestick Park, the Giants' former stadium. That day, San Francisco beat the Cardinals 3-1 in front of 42,269 people.
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