Giants beat Cards to stay alive
San Francisco pitcher Ryan Vogelsong rose to the do-or-die occasion on Sunday, striking out nine as the Giants beat Saint Louis 6-1 to stay alive in their race for a World Series berth.
The Giants victory tied the best-of-seven National League Championship Series at three games apiece ahead of the decisive game seven on Monday.
The winners of the series will face American League champions Detroit in the World Series starting on Wednesday.
Vogelsong stymied the reigning World Series champion Cardinals over seven superb innings and Marco Scutaro went 2-for-3 with two RBI as the Giants came out on top in a potential elimination game for the fifth time this post-season.
The Giants had climbed out of a 0-2 hole to beat Cincinnati in the best-of-five division series.
They have now pulled level against the Cardinals with back-to-back victories while the nine strikeouts were a career high for right-hander Vogelsong.
Pablo Sandoval added two hits, including an RBI single, and Brandon Belt went 2-for-4 and scored two runs.
The Cardinals were without outfielder Matt Holliday, who was taken from the lineup because of tightness in his back.
And Saint Louis starting pitcher Chris Carpenter, a stand-out in the Cardinals’ run to the World Series crown last season, was roughed up for five runs – two earned – on six hits and lasted only four innings.
In Monday’s decider, Matt Cain is scheduled to start for San Francisco while the Cardinals will give the ball to Kyle Lohse.