(Sports Network) - All-Star catcher Buster Posey is feeling it.
So much so that he is single-handedly guiding the San Francisco Giants since
the break. Posey and the Giants will try to stay in the win column when they
resume a four-game road series tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Posey's three-run homer in the first inning of Tuesday's 4-2 win at Busch
Stadium put San Francisco ahead to stay and helped the club to its fourth win
in five tries. Posey has homered in five of his last six games, and has hit
safely in each of his last 11. He has driven in 30 runs since the All-Star
break -- the most in the majors -- and 12 in the past six games.
"He's one of those hitters you want out there with men on base, the game on
the line," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Posey. "He's got great patience,
a great swing. He's just one of those good hitters that's in a real nice
groove right now."
Joaquin Arias had two hits and an RBI, while Brandon Belt went 2-for-4 with a
run scored for the National League West-leading Giants, who are 1 1/2 games
ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for division bragging rights. The Dodgers
lost again to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday.
San Francisco has spent the past 25 days in first place and have hit 54 of its
71 home runs on the road this season. It has clubbed eight homers so far on
this current road trip and is 5-7 so far on a stretch of 20-straight games.
The Giants don't have an off day until Thursday, Aug. 16.
Meanwhile, Giants starter Barry Zito held the Cardinals to two runs in 6 2/3
innings for the win. Clay Hensley, Sergio Romo and Jeremy Affeldt kept St.
Louis off the scoreboard the rest of the way, with Affeldt posting his third
save of the season.
"He was crisp with all of his pitches. He had a good look about him," Bochy
said of Zito.
Ryan Vogelsong draws the start for the Giants Wednesday and has won two of his
last three trips to the hill. Vogelsong earned the win in a 16-4 blowout at
Colorado on Friday, as he was reached for four runs in 6 1/3 innings to
improve to 9-5 in 20 starts to go along with a 2.38 earned run average.
The right-hander and 2011 All-Star is 4-2 in nine road assignments this
season, but 1-4 with a 7.65 ERA in 15 career games (5 starts) against the
Cardinals. Vogelsong is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA as a starter in this series.
St. Louis had won 13 of 17 games until last night's loss and saw its seven-
game home winning streak come to an end.
Allen Craig was the lone bright spot with a pair of home runs and Yadier
Molina added two hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Carlos Beltran
doubled and is riding a nine-game hit streak.
Lance Lynn didn't pitch so well in the start and yielded four runs and eight
hits, including Posey's homer in the first, over six innings. Lynn struck out
six and walked three.
"(Lynn) made a mistake to a good hitter and he made him pay," Cardinals
manager Mike Matheny said of Posey's blast.
The defending World Series champions still sit 2 1/2 games off a Wild Card
spot in the National league and are 4-1 on a seven-game homestand.
Joe Kelly gets the start for St. Louis tonight and will face the Giants for
the first time. The rookie right-hander out of California Riverside is 2-4
with a 3.14 ERA in 10 starts and ended a six-game winless (0-4) drought in
Friday's 9-3 win over Milwaukee. He allowed three runs and 10 hits through 5
2/3 innings, struck out four and walked two batters.
Kelly also is 1-2 in six starts at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals and Giants split two games at AT&T Park back in May, but San
Francisco has won seven of the past 11 meetings between the clubs.
The Sports Network