Lynn gets rocked in shortest outing of season

Allen Craig of the Cardinals recoils after being hit in the head by a pitch from the Giants’ 
Tim Hudson in the third inning of Sunday’s game in St. Louis. Looking on is San Francisco catcher Buster Posey. Craig stayed in the game.

Allen Craig of the Cardinals recoils after being hit in the head by a pitch from the Giants’ Tim Hudson in the third inning of Sunday’s game in St. Louis. Looking on is San Francisco catcher Buster Posey. Craig stayed in the game. Photo by The Associated Press.

ST. LOUIS — Lance Lynn got off to a slow start in his shortest outing of the season.

The St. Louis right-hander followed up his first career shutout with his roughest outing of the season in an 8-0 loss to San Francisco on Sunday. He allowed seven runs (four earned) and eight hits in 31/3 innings. He walked four and struck out two.

“He just didn’t have it,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.

Lynn allowed four runs in the first inning and never appeared comfortable. He allowed just five hits in a 6-0 win against the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

Lynn appeared to hurt his knee while covering first base in the opening inning.

He continued, but said after the game it bothered him, although he would not use it as an excuse.

“A tough one,” he said. “They got three or four ground ball hits, a broken-bat soft liner to right.”

Lynn received little defensive or offensive support. A first-inning error by second baseman Kolten Wong, on a potential inning-ending double-play ball, kept the inning alive and eventually allowed three unearned runs to score.

“If an out is made there,” Lynn said. “We are out of the inning with one run.”

San Francisco right-hander Tim Hudson threw seven shutout innings and Joaquin Arias keyed a four-run first inning with a two-run single to lead the Giants to victory.

The Giants have won five of six and have the best record in the NL at 37-20.

St. Louis has lost four of five. The Cardinals managed just four hits.

Hudson (6-2) gave up three hits, struck out six, and walked two in improving to 4-4 against St. Louis. Hudson’s previous win against the Cardinals came July 19, 2007, as a member of the Atlanta Braves. He retired the last 11 batters he faced on Sunday.

The 38-year-old has a 1.75 ERA, second in the NL, and has gone at least seven innings in nine of 11 starts. Hudson missed the final two months of last season with a fractured ankle, but has rebounded with one of the best starts of his 14-year career.

Hudson took control early after his teammates gave him four early runs.

“Great job,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “You go seven innings and no runs against this club, you’re doing something.”

Catcher Buster Posey said Hudson simply keeps rolling along.

“Nothing fancy, he just goes out there and pitches to contact, like he always does,” Posey said. “He’s smart and he knows how to attack the hitters.

Hudson said he was able to relax after the early support.

“I just went out there and tried to pound the strike zone,” he said. “A starting pitcher always welcomes early runs. It makes our job a whole lot easier.”

Arias came through with a key hit. He got the start after Michael Morse fouled a ball off his left foot in batting practice. In his second start in the past 24 games, Arias went 3-for-4 with three RBI. He broke out of a 0-for-14 skid with a bases-loaded single in the first.

“He stays ready and he’s got a lot of poise,” Bochy said. “He really needed a game like this.”

Morse is expected back in the lineup Tuesday when the Giants play at Cincinnati, according to Bochy.

Posey had three hits in returning to the lineup after missing three games with tightness in his lower back.

“I feel pretty good,” Posey said. “Hopefully, it is something I can manage.”

Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence and Posey singled to start the four-run first. Posey’s RBI hit came on Lynn’s 10th pitch.

Gregor Blanco reached on the error by Wong and Pence scored on a groundout by Brandon Crawford. Brandon Hicks walked to set the stage for Arias’ bases-loaded single.

Arias pushed the lead to 5-0 with a run-scoring single in the third. Crawford added an RBI double in the fourth. Blanco brought in the final run with a triple in the sixth.

“You’re just going to have those days,” Matheny said. “We just couldn’t get anything going.”

St. Louis third baseman Matt Carpenter extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a first-inning single. It is the longest current streak in the NL.

Notes: Former University of Missouri men’s basketball coach Norm Stewart threw out the first pitch. … The Giants finished May with an NL-best 19-9 record. … St. Louis OF Matt Holliday walked in the third inning and has reached safely in all 28 home games. … St. Louis rookie OF Oscar Taveras singled in the second and has hit safely in both of his starts.

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