Rodón's worst start with Giants fuels ugly loss to Cardinals


Carlos Rodón entered the Giants' Sunday Night Baseball clash with the St. Louis Cardinals in possession of the best ERA among San Francisco's regular starting pitchers, leading by more than a run and a half.

But the lefty was rocked by the Cardinals in the Giants' 15-6 loss at Busch Stadium, and the damage was so profound he now finds himself behind Logan Webb on the ERA leaderboard in San Francisco's clubhouse.

For the fourth time in his career, Rodón allowed eight earned runs -- a career high -- in 3 2/3 innings pitched. He allowed 10 hits and walked just one batter while striking out three. His ERA ballooned from 1.80 to 3.49. Webb has a 3.48 ERA through seven starts.

The Cardinals jumped on Rodón early and often, hammering first pitch after first pitch. By the time the first inning was over, he had allowed four runs, including a towering, 405-foot homer to Paul Goldschmidt.

In the third inning, Albert Pujols drove in Goldschmidt with single to center.

An inning later, after Edmundo Sosa drove in a run, Goldschmidt doubled in Sosa, ending Rodón's night. Zack Littell entered the game and was met with the same fate as Nolan Arenado crushed a two-run homer, pushing the Cardinals' lead to 9-0 and closing the book on Rodón's stat line.

Littell would also give up a two-run homer to Yadier Molina in the bottom of the fifth.

The last time Rodón gave up eight earned runs in a game was as a member of the Chicago White Sox on April 26, 2019, against the Detroit Tigers. He lasted just three innings that day.

Joc Pederson made sure the Giants didn't get shut out in the series finale as he ripped a two-run homer to right in the top of the sixth inning.

After the Cardinals pushed the lead to 15-2 in the seventh inning, that's when things got whacky.

The Giants brought in outfielder Luis Gonzalez to get the final out of the seventh. He allowed a run but got Harrison Bader to fly out. Gonzalez stayed in and got through the bottom of the eighth without any further damage.

In the top of the ninth, the Cardinals used Pujols -- yes, 42-year-old future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols -- as a pitcher and he gave up a two-run homer to, you guessed it, Gonzalez.

Joey Bart went back-to-back with Gonzalez, crushing his fourth homer of the season before Pujols got LaMonte Wade Jr. to ground out to end the game.

Midway through May, the Giants and Cardinals are done playing each other this season -- unless they meet in the playoffs. After splitting four games in San Francisco earlier in the month, St. Louis took two of three at Busch.

RELATED: Rodón's historic start places him among Giants legends

The Giants now have lost two in a row and head to Coors Field for a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies that begins Monday night.

Rodón's next start is scheduled for Saturday at Oracle Park against Sean Manaea and the San Diego Padres.

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