By RICK EYMER
SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Carpenter has no explanation for the sudden turn of events, other than a little bit of luck and a lot of aggression.
Matt Cain became the first Giants pitcher to allow nine runs in an inning since 1902 when Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals tagged him Sunday in a 14-3 romp over San Francisco.
“I wasn’t as sharp as I was, for some reason, for the first three innings and it just kind of fell apart,” Cain said. “I don’t know that they changed anything. I just started making some bad pitches and they put good swings together.”
The Cardinals chased Cain (0-1) while scoring nine times in the fourth inning. The last two runs came home on Carlos Beltran’s single off reliever Jose Mijares.
“He was great the first time through the order and then I thought we did a good job the second time being aggressive,” Carpenter said. “Guys were battling up there and things started to roll for us and a couple of balls fell in. We did a good job of swinging at good pitches.”
According to research by the Elias Sports Bureau provided by the team, Cain was the first Giants pitcher to give up so many runs in a single inning since John Cronin on Sept. 27, 1902, in the second game of New York’s doubleheader against Brooklyn.
“It’s one of those innings we couldn’t stop the bleeding and the game got out of hand there,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “I can’t say there was anything different he was doing. They just threw out some pretty good at-bats.”
Adam Wainwright (1-1) pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits for his first win since signing a rich new contract at the end of spring training. He struck out six and walked none.
“Pitching against Matt you have to take that 0-0 mentality,” Wainwright said. “I cracked first and I thought I had to keep it there for us to have a chance. Our offense did an amazing job. Against a pitcher like that you never expect anything like that.”
Cain pitched a perfect game last year and helped the Giants win their second title in three seasons. The pregame ceremony included the presentation of rings to Giants Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marchial and Gaylord Perry.
Cain retired the first nine batters, then gave up seven hits while getting just two outs in the fourth. Beltran, Carpenter and Matt Adams each drove in two runs during the outburst. Cain left after Carpenter’s two-run single.
“I don’t know what it is, every at-bat has been tough against him,” said Carpenter, who is 6 for 7 lifetime against Cain. “All I can say he comes at me, gets ahead and I have to fight back into the count. He’s as good as there is in the league.”
Back in 2008, the Cardinals scored nine runs against Cain spread out over 3 2-3 innings.
Adams finished with three hits, including a two-run double in the fourth.
“I can’t get over the two-strike, two-out hits we were putting together,” Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny said. “If you’re looking for a kind of offense, that’s what we can be. It was a nice run there.”
The Giants gave up their most runs in an inning since 2004 when Cincinnati scored 10 in the eighth.
BRAVES 5, CUBS 1
ATLANTA — Tim Hudson pitched six-plus strong innings and added an RBI and Ramiro Pena hit a two-run single to help the Braves beat the Cubs.
The three-game sweep ended a 5-1 homestand for Atlanta, which got a solo homer from Dan Uggla in the eighth off Hisanori Takahashi.
Hudson (1-0) allowed three hits, one run and two walks in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out seven while improving to 3-1 in seven career starts against the Cubs with a 3.12 ERA.
Jeff Samardzija (1-1) set a career high with 13 strikeouts, but gave up four hits, four runs and four walks in 5 2-3 innings.
METS 4, MARLINS 3
NEW YORK — Marlon Byrd grounded a two-run single just inside third base in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Mets a victory over the Marlins.
Daniel Murphy homered and Anthony Recker had a run-scoring double for the Mets, who spoiled an impressive major league debut by prized Miami pitching prospect Jose Fernandez.
Justin Ruggiano, Chris Valaika and Donovan Solano (three hits) each had an RBI double off substitute starter Aaron Laffey to give the Marlins an early 3-0 cushion. But closer Steve Cishek (0-1) was unable to hold a one-run lead in the ninth, and Miami dropped to 1-5 heading into its home opener Monday night against Atlanta.
The 20-year-old Fernandez, who had never been above Class A, gave up one run and three hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out eight, a record for a Marlins pitcher in his major league debut.
Scott Rice (1-0) worked a scoreless ninth for his first big league win after 14 seasons in the minors.
BREWERS 7 (11)
MILWAUKEE — Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske belted a long two-run homer in the 11th inning and the Diamondbacks beat the Brewers to complete a three-game series sweep.
With Cliff Pennington aboard following a leadoff double, Hinske drove a 1-2 pitch from John Axford (0-1) onto the concourse beyond the wall in center field. Hinske raised his right arm as he rounded second with his eighth career pinch-hit homer.
Tony Sipp (1-0) struck out two in a perfect 10th inning and Heath Bell held on for his first save after J.J. Putz blew an opportunity in the ninth.
ROCKIES 9, PADRES 1
DENVER (AP) — Dexter Fowler hit an early two-run homer and Jhoulys Chacin pitched effectively into the seventh inning, helping the Rockies to their first sweep of the Padres at Coors Field in 10 years.
Wilin Rosario broke open a tight game with a three-run homer in the seventh as the Rockies improved to 5-1, their best start since 1995 when the Blake Street Bombers began 7-1.
Chacin (1-0) turned in another efficient performance as he allowed one run before being pulled with two outs in the seventh.
Edinson Volquez (0-2) settled down after a shaky first inning in which he allowed three runs, including Fowler’s fourth homer of the season. Volquez lasted six innings, giving up four runs and nine hits.
DODGERS 6, PIRATES 2
LOS ANGELES — Hyun-Jin Ryu earned his first major league victory, shrugging off a two-run homer in the first inning by Andrew McCutchen and pitching the Dodgers past the Pirates for a three-game sweep.
Adrian Gonzalez drove in four runs with three hits and Justin Sellers homered for the Dodgers.
Ryu (1-1) allowed two runs and three hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out six and walking two.
Jeff Locke (0-1) lost in his season debut, giving up four runs and eight hits over six innings.
ROYALS 9, PHILLIES 8
PHILADELPHIA — Billy Butler hit a grand slam that needed video review for confirmation and tied a Royals franchise record with seven RBIs, and Kansas City held on for a win over the Phillies.
Butler’s fifth-inning homer, the first slam of his career and the first ever allowed by Philadelphia left-hander Cole Hamels, put Kansas City ahead 6-4.
James Shields (1-1), acquired in an offseason trade with Tampa Bay, earned his first victory as a Royal. The right-hander gave up hits to five of the first six batters in a four-run first inning, but settled down to blank the Phillies for the next five innings on five hits while striking out eight and walking none.
Butler came through with the bases loaded again in the sixth, hitting a two-run single off Chad Durbin.