ST. LOUIS -- There's something about facing Matt Cain that seems to bring out the best in the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals pounded Cain for nine hits and seven runs in the third inning Saturday en route to an 8-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants in game one of a day-night doubleheader.
It was the second time this season that Cain has absorbed a beating at the hands of the Cardinals, who scored nine runs in one inning against him the only other time he started against them this year, at San Francisco on April 7.
Over the past two seasons, totaling five starts, Cain has allowed 32 hits and 25 earned runs in 21 1/3 innings against the Cardinals, an ERA of 10.56. He has a career ERA of 6.63 against the Cardinals in 10 starts and has only defeated them once since 2009, in six starts.
The attack began with a leadoff double by Daniel Descalso, who also had an RBI single later in the inning as the Cardinals sent 12 batters to the plate and recorded five consecutive two-out hits, including a two-run double by backup catcher Tony Cruz, who had only two previous hits in 16 at-bats this season.
Cruz added another double in the eighth; the only hit the Cardinals recorded other than in the third inning onslaught. The Cardinals scored their final run that inning on a sacrifice fly by Descalso.
The nine hits in the third inning were more than the Cardinals have recorded in 24 games this season. They did not record another hit in the game against Cain, who retired the first six batters in order in the first two innings, and 10 in a row from the final out of the third through the sixth before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter.
The beneficiary of the offensive attack was St. Louis starter Shelby Miller, who raised his record to 6-3 and lowered his ERA to 1.82. Miller allowed just six hits and one walk while striking out seven over seven innings. He did not allow a runner past second base as the Giants lost their sixth consecutive road game and dropped to 4-14 in their last 18 road games.
Pitching at Busch Stadium has agreed with Miller, who improved his career record at home to 3-1 in seven games, six of them starts, since being promoted to the major leagues in September. In those games he has worked a combined 42 1/3 innings, allowing just three earned runs on 21 hits, seven walks and recording 52 strikeouts.
Miller's career ERA at home is now 0.64, and he extended his current scoreless streak at home to 21 2/3 consecutive innings covering his last three starts.
Keith Butler made his major-league debut, pitching the ninth inning, becoming the eighth rookie to pitch in a game for the Cardinals this season and the sixth to make his debut in the past month. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one.
NOTES: The Giants' Marco Scutaro ended May with a .420 batting average, the best in the majors for the month, and struck out only three times in 100 at-bats. The last player to hit 420 for a month with 100 or more at-bats and three strikeouts or less was Tony Gwynn of the Padres in May 1997. ... Third baseman Pablo Sandoval was out of the Giants lineup because of a strained left foot, and could miss the next week, manager Bruce Bochy said. ... The Cardinals finished May with a 20-7 record, their most wins in the month since going 19-7 in May 1971. The franchise record for wins in May is 21, last accomplished in 1941. ... The Cardinals did not lose consecutive games during the month. ... Cardinals pitcher Jake Westbrook will begin a rehab assignment with a start for Double-A Springfield on Tuesday. ... Saturday marked the first time the Cardinals and Giants have played a doubleheader since 1994, and the first time in St. Louis since 1978.