Five Takeaways From Giants’ Frustrating Loss to Cardinals

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SAN FRANCISCO - The Giants averaged 1.7 runs per game on their recent road trip. Until the bottom of the ninth Thursday, they were somehow sitting on the under. 

Brandon Crawford hit what appeared to be a two-run homer until the replay officials ruled that a fan interfered. Crawford was given an RBI double and he ended the game on second. That's been a theme for the Giants, who again failed to get going offensively. They lost 5-2 in the first game of a four-game set with the Cardinals. 

August was the best month of the season, but the Giants still finished with a losing record (13-16). Here are five things to know from the final game of the month … 

-- Matt Cain, the seventh starter in this rotation, did about all you can ask given the situation. With Madison Bumgarner scratched because of flu-like symptoms, Cain threw five innings and allowed just two runs. Randal Grichuk took him deep for a two-run shot in the second. 

-- Despite the down year, Hunter Pence hasn't lost an ounce of desire. He tagged from second on a fly ball to right in the fifth, making it a split-second ahead of the tag. That allowed Pence to score when pinch-hitter Carlos Moncrief followed with a fly ball to deep center. 

-- Pablo Sandoval hit third and went 0-for-4. He is hitless in his last 23 bats. Sandoval did, however, make a very nice diving stop in the eighth to rob Yadier Molina of a base hit. 

-- It was 80 degrees at first pitch. In theory, it should have been a great night for the hitters. But, you know ... 

-- Mark Melancon didn't pitch at all on the road trip, so he handled the top of the eighth inning Thursday. It did not go well. Melancon loaded the bases and then walked in a run. He drilled Tommy Pham to bring in another run. Melancon did not allow any runs in his first six appearances back from a long DL stint. 

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