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St. Louis pitcher Luke Weaver flirted with perfection [url=http://www.chiefsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-customized]Authentic Customized Chiefs Jerseys[/url] , had to overcome a little frustration, and settled for domination.

The Cardinals‘ offense was pretty good, too.

Weaver pitched two-hit ball over eight innings and St. Louis beat the San Francisco Giants 11-2 on Thursday night.

”He was making quality pitches at the top of the zone, down, changeup, breaking ball,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said ”Everything was spot on but he controlled the count with his heater and got a lot of early balls in the air. He was aggressive.”

Weaver (5-7) faced two over the minimum and had seven strikeouts. The 24-year-old right-hander carried a perfect game into the sixth inning before giving up a single and Hanson’s two-run homer. Weaver then bounced back to retire the final seven batters he faced.

Weaver didn’t allow a hit until Gorkys Hernandez reached on an infield single with one out in the sixth. Gyorko made a diving stop on Hernandez’s sharp liner near third base but the ball popped out of his right hand as he attempted to throw. Hanson followed with his homer.

”As soon as chopped it and Jedd had to dive, I had a feeling there was not going to be a chance to get him,” Weaver said. ”It would have had to have been an incredible slide jump-up throw and I still don’t think he would have got him. It wasn’t a big deal. I was pretty upset about the home run.”

Jedd Gyorko had three hits including a home run and drove in five runs to spoil the return of Johnny Cueto after two months on the disabled list. Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader also went deep while Yadier Molina singled three times.

The Cardinals had a season-high 18 hits – their most since getting 19 against the New York Mets on Aug. 24, 2016.

Alen Hanson homered for San Francisco. The Giants have scored five runs while losing four straight.

Cueto (3-1) was rocked in his long-awaited return from the 60-day disabled list. He gave up four runs in the first inning – one more than he had in 32 innings before going out with right elbow inflammation.

”Everything was fine except in the first inning when I was trying to be too fine,” Cueto said. ”Instead of just pitching [url=http://www.ramsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-customized]Authentic Customized Rams Jerseys[/url] , I was just trying to place the ball in the strike zone. I just have to continue working my way back to where I was.”

WHAT’S THE COUNT?

San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval appeared to draw a two-out walk in the fifth and began trotting to first base before being called back after Matheny noticed there were only three balls. Two pitches later, Sandoval struck out to end a 12-pitch at-bat.

”I whistled and had the umpire stop for a second,” Matheny said. ”At about the same time, the replay called and then they figured it out on the field by the time we needed to come out of the dugout.”

BABY BULL RETURNS

Orlando Cepeda attended the game for the first time since suffering cardiac arrest in February that left the Hall of Famer in critical condition. The Baby Bull was in the parking lot of a gym when he fell and hit his head during the incident. The 80-year-old is one of the most popular players in franchise history.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Dexter Fowler was reinstated from the paternity list before the game. … Tyler O’Neill was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain. … RHP Matt Bowman (blister) was activated off the DL and optioned to Triple-A Memphis.

Giants: Manager Bruce Bochy said that RHP Jeff Samardzija will have fewer restrictions than Cueto when he returns from the disabled list to start Saturday’s game. Samardzija hasn’t pitched since May 29 because of shoulder tightness. … INF Kelby Tomlinson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. … RHP Roberto Gomez was released.

UP NEXT

John Gant (2-2, 3.48 ERA) pitches for St. Louis on Friday. The right-hander has had mixed success since rejoining the rotation and allowed four runs in 5 1/3 against Atlanta in his most recent start. RHP Dereck Rodriguez (3-1 3.16) starts for San Francisco.




HOUSTON — There were moments during the recently completed road trip when Evan Gattis‘ teammates appeared to relish his run-production exploits more than he did, scenes emblematic of the prevailing fondness for the Houston Astros‘ bearded designated hitter.

Gattis is among the many catalysts for the Astros, who take a 12-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Astros tied the club record set in 1999 and matched in 2004 when Alex Bregman delivered the game-winning single in the ninth inning in a 5-4 victory.

Before Bregman’s hit, Gattis was named American League Player of the Week, earning the honor for the first time in his six-season career.

Gattis hit .417 (10-for-24) with four homers and 15 RBIs for the week, the latter total representing seven more than any other player in the league.

Gattis has been a house aflame this month, leading the majors with 23 RBIs. That total leaves him six shy of the club record of 29 set by Jimmy Wynn in 1967 and matched by Jose Cruz in 1984.

On May 19 [url=http://www.chargersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-customized]Authentic Customized Chargers Jerseys[/url] , Gattis was mired in an extended season-opening slump and was batting .209. He recorded three multi-hit games over his next five starts and has wielded a hot bat ever since.

“I’m thrilled for Gatty because to know him is to know how much he carries the burden of being the DH most nights,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “And he’s very emotional about it. He wants to contribute; he wants to do well. Had a rough start to the season and going through a few swing changes and a lot of work behinds the scenes and then he busts out and literally carries us for the better part of the road trip.

“For him to be rewarded with that recognition nationally is awesome. For the reaction inside with his teammates and coaches, everybody feels pretty good about him.”

Right-hander Justin Verlander (9-2, 1.61 ERA) will start for the Astros (49-25) on Tuesday. He leads the AL in ERA, WHIP (0.76), opponent batting average (.160) and OPS (.493) while ranking second in innings (100 1/3) and fourth in strikeouts (120).

He is 8-3 with a 3.29 ERA over 16 career starts against the Rays, failing to record a decision when he allowed two runs on six hits and five walks with six strikeouts over seven innings in a 5-3 win on June 15, 2017, with Detroit.

Left-hander Blake Snell (8-4, 2.58 ERA) gets the nod for the Rays (33-39). He is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA over three career starts against Houston, failing to log more than five innings in any of those outings. Snell has made two starts at Minute Maid Park [url=http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-customized]Authentic Customized Dolphins Jerseys[/url] , going 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA.

Snell has yielded two or fewer runs in 12 of 15 starts this season, tied with Verlander and Yankees right-hander Luis Severino for the most such starts in the AL. That total includes eight starts surrendering one run or fewer, the second-best mark in the AL behind Verlander (nine).

The Rays’ pitcher usage remains a topic of conversation throughout the majors, with the collapse by Romo only fueling those with dissenting opinions on the strategy of employing multiple bullpen days per week. Six pitchers preceded Romo on Monday, with right-hander Matt Andriese producing the longest outing of 2 2/3 innings in Tampa Bay’s 10th loss in its last 11 road games.

“This is a tough one, no doubt,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We sold out to win a ballgame. We got aggressive with the moves; they got aggressive on their side with the pinch hitting. It all basically worked in our favor until the last inning. Leadoff walk, a couple tough pitches, a couple odd things took place and then Bregman comes up and gets a big hit.”