SAN FRANCISCO -- Miguel Tejada felt content Saturday night to give rather than receive.Tejada, who didn't play for the Giants last year and therefore didn't receive a World Series ring during the pregame ceremony, delivered a two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning that lifted San Francisco to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Giants' second straight last-at-bat victory completed one of the most fulfilling days in franchise history. Surging past the Cardinals complemented the distribution of the rings that players had coveted since they won the Series last Nov. 1. "I think to win games like that this early [in the season], that's a little bit of carryover from last year," left fielder Pat Burrell said. "We believe we can do it late. And we certainly had the right guy up at the right time." That time arrived after Buster Posey singled and Burrell walked with one out against Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin (0-1). Aaron Rowand, whose 12th-inning single won Friday's game, flied out to right field. That guy arrived in the form of Tejada. Franklin forged ahead in the count, 0-2. Then Tejada displayed the guile that has enabled him to last 14-plus seasons in the Major Leagues. He fouled off a 1-2 pitch, worked the count to 3-2 and hit two more fouls, sustaining himself until Franklin fed him the proverbial good pitch to hit. Tejada ended the nine-pitch confrontation by launching a drive to deep left-center field. Colby Rasmus attempted a basket catch as he crossed onto the warning track, but couldn't hold on as Posey and pinch-runner Brandon Belt scored. Tejada sensed that his chance would come.
"In that spot, I know I'm facing a guy who throws a lot of strikes," he said. "And the one thing that I expect from him is to see some strikes."Franklin acknowledged that the final pitch was too fat.
"It was a fastball," said the right-hander, who blew his second save in two days. "You can't walk him right there. He battled. I threw some good pitches in, threw some good pitches away. I tried to throw a fastball down and away and it crept back over and it was up. Didn't make the pitch I wanted to right there."It remained in play, which initially surprised Tejada. "I hit it pretty good," Tejada said. "I think that's all I've got. When I hit it, I thought I hit it out of the park. The wind got it." The memory of Tejada's game-winning hit may or may not linger with him, but the ring ceremony left a definite impression. Helping the Giants win another World Series prompted him to sign his one-year contract with them as a free agent last offseason. "I use that for motivation," Tejada said of the pregame festivities, which he watched from the dugout. "That's not only for tonight, but also for the whole season." In Tejada's view, the Giants did give him something. "I think they give me the opportunity to be on a team that really wants to win," he said. Giants starter Matt Cain didn't earn the decision but lasted seven innings, rescuing the bullpen the day after each reliever appeared in Friday's 12-inning marathon. Cain somehow managed to maintain his focus and still absorb the spirit of the ring ceremony. The ceremony forced Cain to deviate from his usual pregame routine.
"I moved it up a little bit and really tried to enjoy [the ring unveiling] because that's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Cain, who allowed both Cardinals runs and five hits. Among those hits was a seventh-inning leadoff homer by Rasmus, who broke a 1-1 tie.The only downer for the Giants was the strained left Achilles tendon sustained by center fielder Andres Torres, who was forced to leave the game. Torres said that he wasn't sure how he hurt himself, though he left the game one batter after chasing down Lance Berkman's line drive to left-center field.
"I felt a sharp pain," said Torres, who will undergo an MRI examination Sunday to determine the extent of his injury.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.