Pagan, Scutaro star as Giants crush Cardinals, tie NLCS at 1-1
San Francisco, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Angel Pagan homered while Marco Scutaro and Ryan Theriot ripped two-run singles as the San Francisco Giants crushed the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-1, Monday at AT&T Park to tie the National League Championship Series at one game apiece.
The teams will play the next three games at St. Louis, with Game 3 set for Wednesday. Matt Cain will start for the Giants against fellow right-hander Kyle Lohse.
Ryan Vogelsong (1-0) became the first Giants starter in seven postseason games to pitch six frames, going seven innings with one earned run on four hits, two walks and four strikeouts.
“It feels better to get one here and go in there 1-1 instead of down 0-2,” Vogelsong said. “Buster [Posey] called a great game. I was just trying to hit his glove as many times as I could.”
Pagan sent Chris Carpenter’s 1-2 to deep right for his second postseason leadoff homer, joining Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins (2008) as the only players who accomplished the feat.
“Early runs in this game, in the postseason, are very important,” Pagan said. “We put one on the board, they tie it up and then we put up a few more in the fourth. That was the key for us to win tonight.”
Making up for his mistake, Carpenter hit an RBI double in the second inning to tie the count.
Scutaro, who survived a hard slide by Matt Holliday at second base in the first inning, then hit a two-run single in the four-run fourth inning to give the Giants a 5-1 lead.
The second baseman was pulled out in the fifth inning to receive X-rays on a left hip injury. His replacement, Ryan Theriot, contributed a two-run single in the eighth for a 7-1 advantage.
Relievers Jeremy Affeldt and Sergio Romo combined to pitch two scoreless innings to clinch the win.
Carpenter (0-1) lasted just four innings, allowing five runs – two earned –on six hits with a strikeout. It marked the fourth time in St. Louis’ last six games that the team was unable to squeeze more than four innings from its starting pitcher.
“Our starters have pitched deep into the game for us all season long,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “They’ve gone on some runs as good as any staff in baseball. But you’re going to have those times when you struggle a little bit, and you need your bullpen to pick you up and need your offense to carry you. The offense did it for us yesterday. We couldn’t get anything going today.”