SAN FRANCISCO (AP) –– Miguel Tejada hit a two-run double that glanced off the glove of center fielder Colby Rasmus with two outs in the ninth inning and the San Francisco Giants rallied late for the second straight day to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Saturday night a few hours after receiving their World Series rings.
The Giants celebrated as though they had just won the championship all over again, with ace Tim Lincecum among those who sprinted out of the dugout to hug the team’s new shortstop. Tejada skipped in jubilation after his 15th career game-winning hit.
It came against Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin (0-1), who blew his third save in four chances and second in two days. St. Louis lost 5-4 in 12 innings Friday.
Ramon Ramirez (1-0) pitched the ninth for the win and San Francisco secured its first series victory of the season.
Franklin allowed Buster Posey’s one-out single and then a walk to Pat Burrell. Aaron Rowand flied out to bring up Tejada, who fouled off pitches down each base line before coming through with the big hit.
Rasmus ran down Tejada’s high drive at the edge of the warning track in left-center, but tried to catch it by his hip and the ball deflected off his glove to the ground. Both runners scored easily.
The finish spoiled a solid start by St. Louis lefty Jaime Garcia, who outdueled Matt Cain and struck out a career-best nine batters for the second straight outing this year.
Rasmus hit a go-ahead homer leading off the seventh. Cain had gone 32 1-3 innings without allowing an earned run dating to last year before Skip Schumaker scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.
Mark DeRosa drove in San Francisco’s first run with a single in the fifth while making a rare start.
Tejada, the 2002 AL MVP across the bay with Oakland, then gave the sellout crowd of 41,742 even more to cheer about as fans continue to celebrate the city’s first title since the club came West in 1958.
Garcia threw his first career complete game against San Francisco last Aug. 22, a three-hit shutout in a 9-0 victory at Busch Stadium — and appeared headed for another impressive win. Garcia held the Giants scoreless over 14 innings dating to last year before allowing DeRosa’s single.
He gave up four hits and one run and walked one in six innings Saturday.
Giants center fielder Andres Torres left in the top of the fourth with a mild left Achilles’ strain. X-rays were negative and he is scheduled to be evaluated again Sunday.
Torres was hurt after charging in to field Lance Berkman’s line drive for the first out, then stayed in as Rasmus popped up to shortstop. But Torres began hobbling in pain and athletic trainer Dave Groeschner hustled out to check on him followed by manager Bruce Bochy.
Rowand moved from right to center to replace Torres, and Nate Schierholtz entered to play right. Schierholtz tripled and had a pair of singles.
Cain carried a streak of 27 1-3 innings without allowing an earned run into his second outing of the year after he tossed six shutout innings last Saturday against the Dodgers.
The right-hander and longest-tenured member of the Giants didn’t allow an earned run in 21 1-3 innings during last fall’s improbable postseason run.
“Incredible postseason run he had. It is fitting to have him out there,” Bochy said. “What an unsung hero he is with the way he pitched.”
Six of the first eight games for the Giants (3-5) have been decided by two or fewer runs.
Members of the other Bay Area championship teams each threw out a ceremonial first pitch: Steve Young of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, Al Attles of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Jim Otto of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and Reggie Jackson representing the Oakland Athletics. Lincecum ran out to greet Jackson with a handshake.
The Giants wore commemorative uniforms and caps with gold lettering instead of the standard orange or black.
On Sunday, Posey — San Francisco’s NL Rookie of the Year catcher — will be presented with his award in yet another pregame ceremony.
NOTES: Cardinals cleanup hitter Matt Holliday deemed himself set to return to the lineup for Sunday’s series finale against LHP Barry Zito, though manager Tony La Russa didn’t commit. The slugger underwent an appendectomy on April 1. … Bochy thanked a few of the Cardinals players for their patience waiting through Friday’s 50-minute pregame ceremony. … Giants RF Cody Ross, on the DL with a strained right calf, expects to begin running and fielding flyballs early in the week. He likely will need a short rehab stint in the minors before rejoining the team. … San Francisco rookie 1B Brandon Belt got his first day off. 3B Pablo Sandoval didn’t start against the LHP after consecutive three-hit games but flied out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. … San Francisco has won nine of its last 14 against the Cardinals at AT&T Park dating to 2007.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)