Vogelsong looks for some support vs. Cardinals

May 31, 2011, 1:23 pm
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May 31, 2011

GIANTS (29-24) vs.
ST. LOUIS (32-23)

Coverage begins at 3:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

St. Louis (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants broke out at the plate in their last game, but they haven't shown they are capable of building on their rare offensive outbursts.

Ryan Vogelsong might not have much room for error again Tuesday when he takes the mound for the Giants against the St. Louis Cardinals.

San Francisco (29-24), which entered this series having dropped five of six including a pair of shutouts, stormed past St. Louis (32-23) 7-3 on Monday. Andres Torres hit a grand slam to back Madison Bumgarner, who pitched seven strong innings to notch his second win in what's been a hard-luck season.

REWIND: Torres slams Giants to 7-3 win over Cardinals

When the Giants have shown offensive punch, they haven't usually been able to sustain it. The Giants have scored five or more runs three other times in their last 11 games. In the three games immediately following, they totaled six runs.

Vogelsong (3-1, 1.77 ERA) has pitched fantastic ball lately, with a 0.34 ERA in his last four starts. However, he's 0-1 in his last two while receiving only one run of support. The Giants didn't score for Vogelsong at all Thursday, when he limited Florida to one run over eight innings but lost 1-0.

REWIND: Sanchez shuts out Giants, Marlins sweep

"The way Vogey pitched today, it's just unacceptable to get a loss out of a game like that," first baseman Aubrey Huff told the Giants' official website.

This is Vogelsong's first appearance against the Cardinals since 2006, and first start against them since 2004. He is 1-4 with an 8.49 ERA lifetime in four starts and 10 relief appearances versus St. Louis.

If Vogelsong pitches the way he has recently, he figures to be another tough matchup for Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter (1-5, 4.58), who is looking to snap a personal three-game losing streak.

The right-hander pitched an eight-inning complete game but lost 3-2 against San Diego on Wednesday. The Cardinals have supported Carpenter with eight total runs in his seven quality starts.

"I just continue to get ready for my next start, I can't control what's going on," said Carpenter, who won 17 games in 2009 and 16 last season. "Things happen. It's been weird."

NEWS: MLB headlines

Carpenter is 4-1 with a 3.56 ERA in seven starts against the Giants. Huff has particularly struggled against him, going 2 for 15. Fellow Giants outfielder Pat Burrell is 6 for 21 off the right-hander, but four of those hits were homers.

St. Louis, which has lost three of five after winning eight of the previous nine, will seek a long start out of Carpenter after Kyle McClellan lasted only four innings Monday, allowing seven runs.

Albert Pujols hit his ninth homer of the season Monday for St. Louis. He was 3 for 20 in his previous five games - all singles

"He crushed the ball on the home run," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's hit the ball a lot better than his (.262) average."

The Giants could be without center fielder Aaron Rowand, who left the series opener with a bruised right hip. He is day to day.

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