ST. LOUIS (AP) — Pinch-hitter Matt Adams had a clutch two-run double in the eighth inning, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 5-3 on Friday night.
Harrison Bader sparked the winning rally with a two-out walk against Mark Melancon (0-2). Yairo Munoz then singled before Melancon was replaced by left-hander Tony Watson.
Adams doubled to left on a 2-1 pitch, giving St. Louis a 5-3 lead.
John Brebbia (3-3) struck out the side in the eighth for the win and Carlos Martinez picked up his fourth save in four chances.
St. Louis moved within 4 1/2 games of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs, who lost 10-4 to the White Sox. The Cardinals began the day with a 1 1/2-game lead over Colorado for the second NL wild card.
Evan Longoria had three hits for San Francisco, which has dropped 14 of 18. Madison Bumgarner allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.
St. Louis jumped in front on Marcell Ozuna’s two-out RBI single in the first, ending a scoreless string of 14 2/3 innings by Bumgarner at Busch Stadium dating to 2014.
John Gant lasted just 2 2/3 innings for St. Louis in his shortest outing of the season. He allowed one run and four hits.
The Giants tied it at 3 with two runs in the seventh against Jordan Hicks. Gregor Blanco singled in Austin Slater. With one out and runners on first and third, Longoria drove in Alen Hanson with a grounder to first.
It was Martinez’s 27th birthday. He has been a starter for most of his career, so it was the first time he had recorded a save on his birthday.
Giants: INF Brandon Belt had surgery in San Francisco to clean up his torn meniscus and cartilage damage in his right knee. Manager Bruce Bochy said Belt is expected to be ready for spring training. Belt hit .253 with 14 homers and 46 RBIs this season.
Cardinals: INF Kolten Wong left after seven innings due to cramping. He was replaced by Munoz. … RHP Giovanny Gallegos was recalled from Triple-A Memphis. The 27-year-old Gallegos was acquired along with LHP Chasen Shreve in a July 29 trade with the New York Yankees for INF Luke Voit.
Giants RHP Dereck Rodriguez (6-4, 2.30 ERA) faces Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (2-3, 3.72 ERA) on Saturday afternoon. Wainwright is 6-7 in his career against San Francisco. Rodriguez is facing the Cardinals for the second time after recording a no-decision in a 3-2 Giants win on July 6.
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