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SF@STL: Vogelsong cruises through seven strong

ST. LOUIS -- While starter Ryan Vogelsong silenced the Cardinals bats, the Giants' offense quieted the crowd on hand at Busch Stadium on Wednesday night with one of the ugliest losses in recent memory in St. Louis.

San Francisco handed the Cardinals their worst shutout loss at Busch Stadium III with a 15-0 win and gave Vogelsong more than enough support as the right-hander rolled to his Major League-leading 19th quality start.

"We don't have a lot of games like this," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It was great to see these guys break out while we got the kind of pitching we got."

The loss was the largest shutout victory against a defending World Series champion since the 1926 Pirates lost a game 16-0 and was also the largest shutout win by the Giants in St. Louis since 1892.

Each spot in the Giants' lineup collected a hit and five players had multi-hit games, highlighted by a career-high seven RBIs from third baseman Marco Scutaro. Scutaro blasted his third career grand slam in the ninth inning to add to the Giants' already insurmountable lead.

"Nights like that are always welcome," said Scutaro.

With St. Louis starter Joe Kelly beginning to tire, the Giants scored five times in the sixth to break the game open, collecting four hits and capitalizing on an error by Cardinals second baseman Tyler Greene.

Melky Cabrera hit a leadoff double and scored his National League-leading 80th run on a single back up the middle by Hunter Pence. Brandon Belt singled to load the bases for Ryan Theriot, who hit a routine double-play ball to Greene. Greene let the ball go through his legs to score two.

"That's two outs right there," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "That's a big play."

Vogelsong didn't allow an extra-base hit until two outs in the sixth inning and allowed three hits over seven shutout innings. He continued his impressive display of longevity this season, going six or more innings for the 21st game this season.

"I'm just going out there and trying to get outs, trying to go as deep as I can in the game," Vogelsong said.

"I felt like we had a really good game plan. I was able to execute and make the pitches I wanted to make most of the night. A few mistakes I made here and there, I got lucky. They either fouled them off or took them."

The Cardinals' best scoring opportunity came in the fourth when Vogelsong issued back-to-back walks, and David Freese came to the plate with men on second and third and two down. Vogelsong received a little help from shortstop Brandon Crawford, who made a sliding stop deep in the hole and threw out Freese to end the threat.

"That's a big out there. What a play that was," said Bochy. "That gives your pitcher so much more confidence. That lifted [Vogelsong]."

Vogelsong had his streak of allowing three runs or fewer in 16 consecutive starts come to an end with four runs allowed over 6 1/3 innings against Colorado in his last start. But Vogelsong cruised with great efficiency Wednesday, throwing 64 of his 97 pitches for strikes.

"He's aggressive with all his pitches, has good stuff, good command," Bochy said. "He really just has a great focus out there every time he takes the mound. He had it again today."

As they'd done in each game on their current road trip, the Giants scored in the first inning and gave their starter an early lead to work with Wednesday. Pence's two-strike single in between short and third capped off three straight two-out singles. Cabrera got the rally started and scored on Pence's base hit.

The Giants increased their lead late with back-to-back four-run innings in the eighth and ninth and finished the game 8-for-16 with runners in scoring position while collecting double-digit hits for the second straight game.

"I feel like I was just kind of along for the ride again," Vogelsong said. "Just let those guys do their thing and try to get people out."

On their current road trip -- during which they've gone 5-1 so far -- the Giants have scored 11 or more runs three times, and have averaged more than nine runs a game.

While the Giants have had a history of being a low-scoring ballclub, Scutaro said the recent surplus of runs hasn't surprised him.

"Yeah, no doubt," said Scutaro when asked if the team's offense could be consistent. "You see the lineup and see guys who've had success in the past, I don't see a reason why we can't continue doing that."

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