Giants 6, Cardinals 2

Thursday, April 19th 2007, 5:43 pm
By: News On 6

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Rich Aurilia provided the key hit for the second time in 15 1/2 hours.

Aurilia's 2-run double in the 6th inning broke a tie, helping Noah Lowry to his first win of the season in the Giants' 6-2 victory over the struggling St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.

Aurilia singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 12th in a 6-5 win Wednesday night, then doubled to right to spoil what had been a superb day by St. Louis starter Kip Wells.

Randy Winn drove in 2-runs, including a sacrifice fly in San Francisco's 3-run 6th, which also featured Dave Roberts' 1-out infield single followed by a stolen base.

Wells appeared to have single-handedly worked the reigning World Series champions out of a jam. He homered, singled and scored 2-runs, but the Cardinals couldn't hold a 2-0 lead and lost their fourth straight and fifth in six games.

The Cardinals' 6-9 start is the worst by a reigning title team since the 1998 Florida Marlins opened 1-11.

Lowry (1-2) allowed 2-runs – 1-earned -- and 4-hits in 7-strong innings. The lefty struck out 4, walked 2 and surrendered his first home run of the season.

Wells (1-3) sent the first pitch from Lowry just over the left-field fence leading off the 5th. It was the pitcher's fourth career home run, first with the Cardinals and first since Aug. 19, 2005, for the Pirates at Philadelphia.

The right-hander, who pitched 7 shutout innings against the Giants on July 28, allowed leadoff singles in the 1st and 2nd innings but still got a double play and a caught stealing and faced the minimum through four.

The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead when Wells scored on David Eckstein's sacrifice in the 3rd, which 1st baseman Ryan Klesko misplayed for an error.

After Ray Durham reached on 1st baseman Albert Pujols' fielding error at 1st to start the 5th, Klesko tripled to right-center and just made it safely. An animated 3rd-base coach Tim Flannery, who worked with Klesko in San Diego until both came north this season, belly flopped signaling to Klesko to speed up and slide in a hilarious moment.

Winn drove in Klesko moments later, reaching when 2nd baseman Aaron Miles' throw to Pujols was in the dirt for another error by the infield.

Klesko and Barry Bonds, who got to rest a day after hitting home run No. 738, could be seen laughing in the dugout after Klesko scored the tying run. Bonds hugged his teammate as they chatted.

Klesko fell a homer shy of hitting for the cycle, adding an RBI double in the 8th to make it 6-2.

Lowry had been the victim of low run support, as the Giants scored only once in the two previous games he started -- losses to the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. But they managed enough for him this time in his first victory in three career starts against the Cardinals.

Brad Hennessey got the final 5 outs for his first save.