SAN FRANCISCO — It is without doubt that the San Francisco Giants miss the presence of the now-retired Buster Posey in their lineup, especially in the past few games. Maybe his presence in street clothes is enough to jump start the offense, and the Giants unleashed a week’s worth of frustration with an onslaught in front of their former field general.
Wilmer Flores hit a first-inning grand slam, one of three home runs on the day, to immediately take pressure off the Giants bats, who put up 13 runs during a 13-7 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday night. Logan Webb overcame a shaky first two innings to complete five innings of work and pick up his fourth win of the season.
The beginning of the day belonged to the former Giants backstop, honored in front of the home fans for the first time since his surprise retirement at the end of last season. Buster Posey Day was an hourlong ceremony that saw many former teammates and Giants legends fête the three-time World Series champion, former Most Valuable Player and future Hall of Famer, and ended with Posey making a speech to the adoring fans at Oracle Park who’ve cheered him on since his Rookie of the Yer campaign of 2010.
The rest of the day belonged to San Francisco’s offense, who came into today scoring 10 runs combined in its last five games, all losses. (In their last four games, the Giants scored one run three times and two runs in yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals.) Austin Slater worked one of the Giants’ eight walks to lead off the first, and San Francisco soon loaded the bases after a Mauricio Dubón single and Brandon Belt walk. One batter later, Flores crushed his fifth career grand slam into the left field stands for a 4-1 lead.
Another four-run inning followed in the second, on two two-run homers from Dubón and Darin Ruf, all off St. Louis starter Steven Matz.
A theme of the game was San Francisco able to respond immediately after St. Louis scores, as Cardinals’ runs in the first, second (two runs), fourth and seventh (three runs) innings were immediately answered by Giants’ runs in the bottom of each frame.
Despite the 13 runs scored, the Giants were outhit 14-9 by the Cardinals, and a three-run blast by Dylan Carlson off of San Francisco reliever Zack Littell in the top of the seventh brought St. Louis to within 9-7.
A one-out double from Thairo Estrada in the bottom of the inning scored Luis Gonzalez to give the Giants a 10-7 lead before San Francisco scored three more runs in the eighth, all without recording a hit. Cardinals reliever Kodi Whitley walked each of the first four men he faced to begin the inning, with a free pass to Flores with the bases loaded forcing in a run. T.J. McFarland replaced Whitley afterwards, but then hit Luis Gonzalez to force in another run before Estrada hit a sacrifice fly to deep right to score Ruf and put a cap on the scoring.
Matz went only two innings for the Cardinals, allowing the three home runs as part of his eight earned runs allowed that sees his ERA on the season jump to over seven (7.01). Harrison Bader went 3-for-4 while four other players, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Juan Yepez and Paul DeJong, each had two hits for St. Louis.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by Bay Area-based photographer Chris Tuite. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 52 pictures in total.