Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

For Cards, It's Toastt on Coas 2-1 Loss to Giants Leaves Birds 1 (Forfeit) for Trip

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

For Cards, It's Toastt on Coas 2-1 Loss to Giants Leaves Birds 1 (Forfeit) for Trip

Article excerpt

The Cardinals' most brutal trip since 1988 ended in a fashion emblematic of these last nine days: Good pitching, no hitting, no cigar.

Mark Petkovsek's brilliant, 10-strikeout, no-walk performance Wednesday night was wasted in another no-show by the Cardinals' offense.

Held to three hits, the Cardinals were beaten 2-1 by Mark Leiter and the San Francisco Giants in a brisk 2 hours 5 minutes, and they finished their trip to the coast at 1-8.

The three-game sweep by the Giants marked the sixth time the Cardinals had been swept this year and extended their losing streak to six games, tying a season high.

San Francisco hadn't swept the Cardinals here since 1990, and the Giants already have won the season series (7-3 with three games left) for the first time since 1990.

On their nine-day lost journey, the Cardinals' lone win came by forfeit. They had only 55 hits - or an average of just more than six a game - and only 18 runs, an average of exactly two. The Cardinals had four runs in three games here.

Their pitchers gave up only 33 runs in nine games but got no help from an attack that scored runs in just eight innings over the last seven games. Over the last 19 games, 16 of which the Cardinals have lost, they have scored but 37 runs.

"It's not for lack of effort. It's not for lack of work," manager Mike Jorgensen said.

"We've tried different lineups. We've tried different people. We just haven't been able to find the right combination."

The Cardinals quickly fell behind. Deion Sanders, who had three hits to come out of a slump on Tuesday, doubled off the right-field wall to start the Giants' first. After Petkovsek hit Steve Scarsone on the middle finger of his right hand, forcing Scarsone's exit, Barry Bonds flied to center, sending Sanders to third.

Third baseman Scott Cooper made a diving stop on Mark Carreon's smash, but Sanders scored the first run. Petkovsek also hit Glenallen Hill in the upper back before the inning ended when Royce Clayton was called out on strikes. …

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