Pitching in a National League park for the first time, May had to bat, and when his turn came around in the top of the sixth with the Twins trailing, 3-0, manager Paul Molitor elected to pinch-hit for May with Shane Robinson, who poked a single up the middle.
"I knew going in that some stuff had to go my way to get a little deeper in the game," said May, who was tagged with his fifth loss of the season. "I tried to do my best out there. I had an at-bat and tried to put the ball in play, and just tried to keep it close. It just worked out the other way."
Other than back-to-back home runs by Mark Reynolds and Yadier Molina in the fourth and a Randal Grichuk triple that center fielder Byron Buxton nearly corralled in the third, May pitched efficiently, throwing 54 of his 83 pitches for strikes and walking only one.
The Twins' offense did not provide any runs until the seventh inning, after May had exited.
"It was a National League type of game, the kind of game the Cardinals have been winning consistently this year," Molitor said. "Well pitched, well defended, a couple big swings, and then their bullpen made it stand up after [starter John] Lackey gave them a really solid outing."
The back-to-back homers signaled the first time this season that May has allowed more than one in a game, and his three strikeouts tied a season low. Still, he likely would have pitched another inning if the Twins could have used a designated hitter.
"Today I didn't do my job as well as I should. It was a little frustrating," May said. "I left a couple of balls up to some guys, and a couple times I made good pitches and they hit them. That's kind of the name of the game. I wish I had a couple back, but that's how things go sometimes."
David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.