SF Giants Defeat St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 in Game 5 of NLCS
In the face of elimination, the San Francisco Giants rode a Barry Zito gem to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals and keep their hopes alive by bringing the National League Championship Series back to San Francisco.
ESPN said it best, as #RallyZito was trending on Twitter in North America:
He was also clutch with the bat. His first bunt was perfectly executed and sent Gregor Blanco into scoring position to second base. However, the inning ended with an Angel Pagan groundout.
Zito’s next at-bat came after the Giants had already struck in the top of the fourth inning.
Hunter Pence hit a chopper to Lance Lynn. Lynn turned quickly to try to get the force at second base, but his throw hit the bag and flew into center field. A run scored and the Giants took the initial lead.
Two batters later, Brandon Crawford singled to center and knocked in Pablo Sandoval and Pence.
Then Zito made his mark again. He dropped a perfect two-out bunt single to drive in Blanco for the Giants' fourth run of the fourth inning.
That was a lead they would not relinquish.
Sandoval added an insurance run with a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning to extend the Giants' lead to five runs. It was his second homer in as many nights.
Beltran says he’s ready to play for #STLCards. Had acupuncture in left knee area today, ran some sprints, felt fine. Likely to be in lineup.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 19, 2012
It seemed to work for Beltran, who had a base hit and stole a base in his first game back in action since Game 3 of the NLCS.
Notably, Matt Holliday was inept at the plate, recording three strikeouts (two to Zito).
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Vogelsong went seven innings, allowing only one run, in the Giants' Game 2 victory. Carpenter had a much harder go of it, allowing five runs in only four innings on the mound.
Monday’s Game 7, if necessary, will feature Kyle Lohse for the Cards and Matt Cain for the Giants. Lohse picked up a narrow 3-1 Game 3 victory for St. Louis.
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