The reports of the demise of David Freese have apparently been greatly exaggerated.
On Wednesday afternoon the chat lines were full of people wondering what was wrong with the St. Louis third sacker who was hitless in his previous four games. By Wednesday night he was again a hero with three hits in four at-bats including the game-winning homer.
The Cardinals got on the board first in the opening inning when Rafael Fural and Tyler Greene collected hits to put two men on base with no outs. They narrowly avoided a double play when Matt Holliday hit a line drive right at the Giants second baseman. But the Birds managed to score when Allen Craig grounded into a fielder's choice to push Furcal across the plate.
It seemed like that one run might be all it took until San Francisco strung together three hits in the bottom of the sixth inning and catcher Buster Posey tied the game.
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But Freese homered in the top of the seventh to put the Redbirds back on top and then Skip Schumaker drove in a pair of insurance runs in the eighth when he hit an opposite field double over the head of the Giants left fielder.
St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia, who has traditionally struggled on the road, turned the tables after his lousy most recent start at Busch Stadium and hurled his best game so far this year at San Francisco. He threw 7 1/3 innings and allowed one run while scattering nine hits and allowing no walks. He struck out nine batters.
The most remarkable thing about the Garcia start was that in the past he has seemed to melt down when he gets into trouble. But on Wednesday he managed to avoid letting small problems snowball on him and when he got into trouble he buckled down.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Freese
Cardinals Play of the Game: Freese's homer
Lowlight: Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and Lance Berkman combined to go 0-for-12 in the game