Wainwright’s gem helps Cards tame Giants, take 3-1 NLCS lead
St. Louis, MO, United States (4E Sports) – Adam Wainwright bounced back with seven solid innings while Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and Yadier Molina drove in two runs apiece as the St. Louis Cardinals took a 3-1 lead in the NL Championship Series via an 8-3 win over the San Francisco Giants Thursday at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals put Lance Lynn on the mound Friday as they look to finish the Giants and advance to the World Series for the second straight time as a wild card against the Detroit Tigers. San Francisco looks to stay alive with the help of starter Barry Zito.
After lasting just 2 1/3 frames in the deciding game against the Washington Nationals, Wainwright (1-0) lasted seven innings, allowing one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts to put the Cardinals on the brink of a 2006 World Series rematch against the Tigers which they won.
“I was very confident coming into the game that I had the stuff to go out there and pitch a quality game,” said Wainwright, who captured his first postseason win as starter. “I felt that way last time, too; it just didn’t work out. We won the game. Today was a big win. We’ve got to close them out tomorrow.”
“Well, that’s no surprise,” Holliday said of Wainwright’s gem. “You expect Adam to pitch well and pitch like an ace, and he did.”
History is on the side of St. Louis as 12 of the 14 teams to hold a 3-1 lead in the NLCS have gone to the World Series. Of the 33 teams in either league to take a 3-1 lead since the LCS adopted the seven-game format in 1985, 27 advanced to the World Series.
In his first postseason start, former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum (0-1) surrendered four earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. He gave up two early runs to the Cardinals from an RBI single by Holliday and Allen Craig’s RBI sacrifice fly.
Lincecum did not give up a hit to St. Louis in the next three innings while Hunter Pence hit a solo shot to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 2-1.
The Cardinals chased Lincecum with a pair of runs in the fifth inning behind RBI singles by Holliday and Molina for a 4-1 advantage.
St. Louis padded its lead to 8-1 with a two-run double from Jay in the sixth and a run-scoring double and single from Molina and Pete Kozma, respectively, in the seventh.
Pablo Sandoval tried to spark the Giants’ comeback in the 9th with a two-run homer against Fernando Salas, who later bounced back by forcing Hector Sanchez to a groundout and Pence to foul out to first to close out the victory.
“You’ve got to keep believing and hope,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “These guys, they’ll be out there fighting tomorrow. It’s not going to change. We’ve been through a lot this year. And we’ve just got to come out, try to win the game tomorrow and see if we can get this thing back home.”