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Friday, April 11, 2008

Correia stifles Cards, Giants win 3rd straight

Correia stifles Cards, Giants win 3rd straight
April 10, 2008

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Kevin Correia's latest start became all the more impressive considering his current state of health.

Down 12 pounds to 188 because of a stomach bug last week, Correia didn't let it show that he's still a little weak and trying to regain his strength.

He carried a shutout into the eighth inning in one of his best starts yet, leading the San Francisco Giants past the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 on Thursday night for their third straight victory.

"My body is still taxed," Correia said. "My velocity was a little down. But I got a lot of quick outs. ... I got behind some guys but I made some good pitches and made the right pitches at the right times to make it a pretty good outing."

Correia (1-1) allowed five hits in 7 2-3 innings, struck out four, walked two and also singled for the Giants, who are on a little roll after losing six of their first seven games.

Fred Lewis doubled, tripled and scored twice and Randy Winn added a sacrifice fly for San Francisco, which went 19 innings without allowing a run before Troy Glaus' ninth-inning RBI double off Brad Hennessey ended the Giants' shutout bid.

Lewis will be called upon regularly now in left field. The Giants announced after the game that outfielder Dave Roberts will undergo left knee surgery Saturday and could miss significant time.

Manager Bruce Bochy feels comfortable batting Lewis almost anywhere in the order, seeing quite the exhibition of speed with him hitting leadoff Thursday. Lewis might have had a little extra motivation: His teammates fined him $12 for wearing his black uniform belt with a baby blue suit a night earlier. He forgot his own belt at home.

"I hate that Dave's out," Lewis said. "He's one of my teammates. It means I'm going to get a lot of playing time and hopefully help the team get as many wins as possible."

Correia, a full-time starter for the first time after primarily relieving in parts of five previous major league seasons, beat the Cardinals for the first time in eight career outings. He left to a standing ovation after allowing Skip Schumaker's two-out double that followed a single by Cesar Izturis.

Correia felt some cramping in his left arm that forced his hand into a fist -- he figures it was a result of still being dehydrated from the illness -- after a pitch to pinch-hitter Aaron Miles. Correia was checked on by the Giants' training staff and needed help getting his glove back on but stayed in the game, then gave way to Jack Taschner after the double. Taschner got pinch-hitter Ryan Ludwick to fly out.

Hennessey recorded the first out in the ninth before Brian Wilson entered with runners on first and second and finished for his second save in three chances. He struck out pinch-hitter Rico Washington looking to end it.

Correia allowed only four baserunners past first, including on Izturis' third-inning double that he tried to stretch into a triple only to be thrown out. The pitcher's seventh-inning single was his first hit since April 30, 2007, and the seventh of his career.

St. Louis had won seven of eight since a season-opening loss to Colorado, but the Cardinals couldn't do much offensively in their first game of the year away from Busch Stadium. They opened a four-game series in the Giants' waterfront ballpark.

Adam Wainwright (1-1) allowed four runs and eight hits, struck out six and didn't walk a batter in seven innings. After Lewis led off the third inning with a triple to right, Wainwright retired the next 12 batters he faced before giving up two doubles to start the seventh.

"I wasn't giving singles up, I was giving up doubles and a triple," Wainwright said. "They're all balls that were up. I deserve that loss tonight. Our team didn't but I did."

The Giants added a pair of insurance runs on back-to-back doubles by Jose Castillo and Ray Durham to start the inning, followed by Rich Aurilia's RBI single. That gave Aurilia, in his second stint with the club, 1,092 hits as a Giant to tie him with Matt Williams for ninth in San Francisco history.

Aurilia was caught stealing moments later. Bengie Molina singled in a run in the eighth.

His brother, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, went 0-for-3 with a walk and had his seven-game hitting streak snapped. It was the longest by a St. Louis player to start a season since 2003, when Scott Rolen hit in nine straight games and Mike Matheny eight.

Notes: St. Louis went 1-4 vs. San Francisco in 2007. ... The Cardinals didn't score first for just the second time this season. ... St. Louis will activate RHP Joel Pineiro from the 15-day DL (strained throwing shoulder) to make his season debut Sunday, replacing Brad Thompson.

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