SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Matt Morris quickly became a spectator in
his latest start -- and he watched the St. Louis Cardinals nearly
rally out of the huge hole in which he put them.
Ray Durham's bases-loaded triple capped the Giants' eight-run
first inning, and San Francisco held on for an 8-7 victory Saturday
night.Morris got just two outs in a disastrous outing for St. Louis,
allowing seven hits and a walk and hitting another of the 11
batters he faced. San Francisco snapped its three-game losing
streak despite getting just four hits after the first."If you score eight and then you don't score any more and get
beat, you have to wait for another full moon to win a game,"
Giants manager Felipe Alou said.Morris (11-7) couldn't explain his troubles, even after watching
video of every pitch. St. Louis' potent lineup eventually got
within a run in the ninth, but San Francisco's bullpen avoided an
even bigger debacle than Morris' performance."Even with our (lineup), it's tough to win that ballgame,"
Morris said. "I thought they were halfway decent pitches.
Obviously not. It's putrid. It's tough to swallow for me."Jim Edmonds tied a career high with four hits, including a
homer, and drove in four runs. Scott Rolen also homered, but the
Cardinals' rally fell just short as their five-game winning streak
was snapped.Morris pitched a shutout against the Giants last Sunday, but he
walked leadoff hitter Durham and never recovered. He had won four
straight starts and seven of his last eight before this collapse,
which raised the longtime staff ace's ERA from 4.33 to 4.82 in
two-thirds of an inning."Matt, I don't know what to say," St. Louis manager Tony La
Russa said. "That's a lot of runs. I don't even begin to try to
explain it."Snow's double scored Durham and Michael Tucker with the Giants'
first runs. After Barry Bonds grounded out, six of the next seven
batters reached base. A.J. Pierzynski and Marquis Grissom had
run-scoring singles before Durham cleared the bases and scored on
Tucker's double.It was the Giants' biggest first inning since scoring nine runs
at Colorado on July 2, 2002 -- but the Cardinals gradually rallied.Moments after Rolen hit his 24th homer off Giants closer Matt
Herges in the ninth, Edmonds doubled and scored on pinch-hitter
Roger Cedeno's single to trim San Francisco's early eight-run lead
to 8-7.But John Mabry grounded into a double play before Jason
Christiansen gave up a single to Yadier Molina. Christiansen then
got Tony Womack to ground out for his third save in four chances.Despite the season-long inconsistency of the Giants' bullpen,
general manager Brian Sabean didn't make a move at the trade
deadline -- though he plans to pick up relief help off the waiver
wire."This is the crew we're going to ride the ship on,"
Christiansen said. "The trading deadline being over is a relief.
This is the team we're going to have, and we just have to play good
baseball and do the best we can."J.T. Snow had a two-run double during the Giants' first-inning
rally, and Kirk Rueter (6-8) survived five rocky innings for his
first win in four starts.Dan Haren replaced Morris with 4 1-3 scoreless innings, and St.
Louis pulled within 8-3 on two run-scoring hits by Edmonds, along
with So Taguchi's sacrifice fly.Rueter allowed nine hits and three runs while improving to 10-4
against the Cardinals, but was forced to pitch out of jams in every
inning except the fourth. St. Louis stranded eight runners in
Rueter's five innings."They're a great offensive team, so you've got to keep plugging
away," said Rueter, who got his 100th victory with the Giants. "I
don't know how many runs is enough to beat them."Edmonds hit a two-run homer in the seventh off reliever Jim
Brower, clobbered for four runs by the Cardinals a night earlier.
John Mabry also had three hits for St. Louis.Ricky Ledee dressed but didn't play for the Giants, who acquired
him from Philadelphia on Friday for reliever Felix Rodriguez.
Bonds went 0-for-3 with a walk. ... OF Reggie Sanders
strained a muscle in his left ribcage during batting practice,
forcing the Cardinals to scratch him for the weekend. "I don't
think it's bad, but we're looking at (returning) Tuesday," Sanders
said. ... San Francisco's biggest inning of the season was a
nine-run effort in the fourth against Atlanta on April 28.