The seven runs the Cardinals scored are more than what they mustered in their previous six games, per MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch:
"As rocky as the road may have been as the Cardinals waded through their final three-city trip of the season, they nevertheless return home in better standing than they were when they left.
"Dealing with a hemorrhaging rotation and oft-disappearing offense, the Cardinals, with a 7-2 victory over the Giants on Thursday, still managed an even split of the 10-game trip. They actually picked up a half game on the first-place (Milwaukee) Brewers over the road swing, too, and they head home trailing the division leaders by five games.
"Big offensive performances bookended the trip, with the Cardinals scoring more in front of an AT&T Park crowd of 41,181 on Thursday than they had in their previous six games combined. Before that, the club had exploded for 22 runs in a three-game series at Coors Field.
"This had the appearance of another mile-high affair.
"Jhonny Peralta set the tone with a two-out, two-run homer that gave the Cardinals their first first-inning runs in more than two weeks. St. Louis went on to score in four different innnings, two of which were anchored by the bottom part of the Cardinals' lineup.
"A potential double play not turned by the Giants in the fourth opened the door for a three-run St. Louis inning. Jon Jay delivered an RBI double, after which starter Carlos Martinez helped his own case with a two-run single past a drawn-in midfield.
"Pinch-hitter Shane Robinson, batting in Martinez's place two innings later, contributed an RBI triple. The Giants' inability to turn two in the seventh again helped the Cardinals further pad their lead.
"Martinez turned the game over to the bullpen after five innings as he set the Cards up to win for the fourth time in his four starts since transitioning into the rotation.
"Consecutive hits by the Giants pushed across a third-inning run, but Martinez otherwise drove in more with his one hit than he would allow. His athleticism was on show all afternoon, including in the fifth as he as he dived across the infield grass to make a play on Gregor Blanco's blunt. Blanco beat on the bunt anyway, and Martinez took a visit from the trainer as he was slow to get up.
"He proved himself healthy with a pair of practice pitches and eventually finished off the inning by striking out Buster Posey with the bases full. Martinez, who threw 23 of his 88 pitches in that inning, gave several fist pumps as he returned to the dugout."
St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 3, 2014
In another development, Langosch reports St. Louis signed four Dominican players at the beginning of the international signing period:
"A day after the start of the international signing period, the Cardinals announced that they signed four players from the Dominican Republic. The group includes right-handed pitchers Junior Fernandez and Sebastian Nunez, shortstop Starlin Balbuena and second baseman Ezequiel Delgado.
"MLB.com previously reported the signing of Balbuena to a $300,000 bonus.
"Fernandez, 17, will begin his professional career on Saturday when he joins the Cardinals' Dominican Summer League team. The other three, because of their ages, have signed contracts for 2015 and are subject to approval by Major League Baseball's Office of the Commissioner. Balbuena and Delgado are 16 years old. Nunez turned 17 in mid-May.
"The Cardinals have been allotted a bonus pool of $1,866,300 for this yearlong signing period. Clubs that spend in excess of their pool will be subject to fines and future signing limitations."
With the win, St. Louis upped its record to 46-40 (.535) for second place in the National League Central behind the Milwaukee Brewers (51-35) through July 3.