ST. LOUIS (AP) — Adam Wainwright had been the hottest pitcher in baseball going into Friday night's game against San Francisco.
He entered with a scoreless streak of 20 innings and a major league-leading 1.67 ERA. But the St. Louis ace was no match for the Giants, who tagged him for seven runs and eight hits in the Cardinals' 9-4 loss.
"The knee-jerk reaction is to look at this game and think you've wasted a lot of good starts with one game," said Wainwright, whose ERA jumped to 2.32. "But that's exactly what it is, one game.
"I'm in a very good place where I am right now. I just go to flush this one and move on to the next."
Wainwright (8-3) said he noticed he wasn't quite himself. But he was unable to come up with a fix while he was out on the mound.
"There's days when you feel something a tick off and you can make an adjustment very fast," said Wainwright, who lasted 4 1-3 innings. "Today, I thought there was couple of things going on out there mechanically, and no matter what I tried to do, my normal checkpoints to correct things like that, they just weren't working."
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy was surprised by his team's offensive output against Wainwright.
"I'm sure he wasn't quite as sharp," Bochy said. "It's the only way you can really score runs off him, that's how good he is. Watching his games, he's been unbelievable hitting his spots. He made a few mistakes and we took advantage of them."
Madison Bumgarner struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings and Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer off Wainwright.
Bumgarner (7-3) allowed three hits and matched a season high for strikeouts set in his previous start against Minnesota. He walked one.
San Francisco has won eight of nine and owns the best record in the majors at 36-19.
Pence had two hits and scored twice. Pablo Sandoval extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single and a double, but his run of nine straight games with an RBI was snapped.
Hector Sanchez and Gregor Blanco each had a two-run single for the Giants, who scored seven runs with two outs. San Francisco has scored 117 runs with two outs, tops in the big leagues.
Angel Pagan had two hits and scored twice for the Giants.
Jay hit a three-run double off San Francisco reliever David Huff in the eighth. Allen Craig added an RBI double against Juan Gutierrez.
The Giants wasted no time ending Wainwright's shutout streak. Pagan led off the game with a double down the left field line. He moved to third on Pence's fly to right and scored on Michael Morse's two-out single.
San Francisco then broke the game open by scoring four times off Wainwright in the second inning after the first two batters were retired.
Brandon Hicks kept the inning going by coaxing a walk. Hicks went to third on Bumgarner's single to left and scored when Pagan followed with a single to center. Pence then hit a 447-foot shot into the third deck in left field to make it 5-0.
Wainwright was pulled after allowing a single to Sandoval and a double by Morse with one out in the fifth. Sandoval and Morse both ended up scoring on Blanco's two-out single off reliever Seth Maness.
NOTES: The Giants own the National League's best road winning percentage at .630 (17-10). ... The Cardinals announced after the game that 1B Matt Adams (left calf) is going on the disabled list. Prized prospect Oscar Taveras will be called up from the minors. ... Yusmeiro Petit (3-2) will start Saturday for San Francisco in place of Matt Cain, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring. Petit will be opposed by Michael Wacha (3-3). ... San Francisco is 27-5 when scoring first. ... Matt Carpenter had two hits for the Cardinals, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.