Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 7/31)

Game 1: Friday, July 30
St. Louis7Final
San Francisco4
Game 2: Saturday, July 31
St. Louis7Final
San Francisco8
Game 3: Sunday, August 1
St. Louis6Final
San Francisco1

Cardinals 7

(66-37, 35-17 away)

Giants 8

(57-49, 30-23 home)

10:15 PM ET, July 31, 2004

AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

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STL 001020202 7 15 1
SF 80000000 - 8 11 2

W: K. Rueter (6-8)

L: M. Morris (11-7)

S: J. Christiansen (3)

Giants score eight in first then hold on

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.

Game notes


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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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