Giants lose to Cardinals, open homestand with fourth straight loss

SAN FRANCISCO — It doesn’t qualify as a free fall, but then again it’s not something the home fans are used to either.

The Giants lost 7-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday night before a crowd of 22,562 at Oracle Park in the first game of a seven-game homestand. It was their fourth straight defeat.

St. Louis got a solo home run in the second inning by Yadier Molina against losing pitcher Zack Littell (0-1) in a bullpen game and never trailed. Miles Mikolas (2-1) got the win, giving up one run in 5 2/3 innings and getting relief help from Andre Pallante, Nick Wittgren and Kodi Whitley.

The Cardinals had 12 hits against nine different Giants pitchers. The Giants had 10 hits but left eight runners on base and were 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

It is the first four-game losing streak for the Giants since last Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, when they fell to Atlanta and three times to the Milwaukee Brewers, going from 84-45 to 84-49 and seeing a 2 1/2 game lead in the NL West turn into a half-game deficit.

The Giants also had a four-game losing streak from June 27-to July 1. They have never lost five straight under Kapler.

The last losing streak of five or more games for the Giants was seven in a row from May 22-29 under Bruce Bochy, when they went from 21-26 to 21-33.

The Cardinals broke it open in the seventh with four runs off Jake McGee and Tyler Rogers for a 7-1 lead, sending fans streaming for the exits.

Included was a run-scoring single by Tommy Edman, who had a two-run single earlier in the game, a two-run single by Tyler O’Neill and a run-scoring single by Tyler Yepez. The O’Neill and Yepez hits came against Rogers, who hadn’t pitched since April 27 against the A’s in the Bay Bridge Series.

Two of the Giants most consistent performers last season, McGee gave up three hits and Rogers two in the inning.

The Giants were quiet against Milolas until the fifth. The Cardinals got a break when Curt Casali hit a liner to short that Paul DeJong gloved with a leap with two runners on, but Mike Yastrzemski followed with a run-scoring single to right to make it 3-1. With two runners still aboard, it looked like the Giants might take the lead, but Josh Pederson’s drive to deep center was caught against the wall by Harrison Bader for the third out.

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