SAN FRANCISCO -- Were you studying the Cardinals' lineup for a nemesis for Ryan Vogelsong, Carlos Beltran might be your best bet. Beltran entered Saturday's game with the best career numbers of any St. Louis hitter against Vogelsong and then doubled his RBI total against the Giants' right-hander, driving in three with a pair of singles.
Both of Beltran's hits came with two outs and contributed to Vogelsong departing before the conclusion of the sixth inning in the Giants' 6-3 loss -- something that didn't happen until Aug. 13 last season, when Vogelsong threw at least six innings in his first 21 starts.
A day after being shut out at AT&T Park, the Cardinals collected nine hits and five runs against Vogelsong, with Beltran's RBI single in the first ending the Giants rotation's streak of consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to start the season at 26.
Beltran delivered a key hit again in the fifth, driving in two with a bases-loaded single that capped a three-run inning for the Cardinals. Vogelsong allowed a leadoff single to Pete Kozma and got two outs before allowing the next four Cardinals to reach safely. Beltran's hit came two batters after Matt Holliday lined a single to left to score Kozma.
The nine hits allowed by Vogelsong matched the most he has allowed since joining the Giants in 2011. It was just the sixth time in that span that he has allowed five or more earned runs.
The Cardinals scored all but one of their runs with two outs. The Giants, meanwhile, stranded runners in every inning except the second. Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval each hit solo home runs, with Sandoval adding an RBI single in the third inning that scored Angel Pagan from second base.
It was the Giants' only hit in 15 at-bats with a man on base. Joaquin Arias came close with two on and two outs in the sixth, hitting a pinch-hit line drive down the first-base line. But Allen Craig made a diving catch and easily doubled Brandon Belt off first to end the inning.
That preserved a 5-2 lead for the Cardinals, whose starter Shelby Miller allowed four hits and four walks but just two runs. Sandoval homered leading off the eighth off reliever Edward Mujica and Buster Posey -- who before the game was presented with his 2012 N.L. MVP award in a ceremony -- followed with a double off the wall in right field.
But after a coaching visit to the mound, Mujica struck out Pence and retired Belt and Hector Sanchez on fly balls to left field. The Cardinals added a run in the ninth on an RBI single by Matt Carpenter and turned the ball over in the ninth to Mitchell Boggs, who allowed a two-out single to Pagan before getting Marco Scutaro to fly out to right to end it.