Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS - Adam Wainwright threw seven innings of four-hit ball and the St. Louis Cardinals roughed up Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants in an 8-3 rout Thursday night that gave them a 3-1 lead in the NL Championship Series.
Giants catcher Hector Sanchez looks for the loose ball after a short-hop relay throw allowed the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter to score in an 8-3 NLCS win by the Cardinals at St. Louis.
The Associated Press
WHO: San Francisco Giants (Zito 15-8) at St. Louis Cardinals (Lynn 18-7)
WHEN: 8:07 p.m. Friday
SERIES: Cardinals lead, 3-1
Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and Yadier Molina had two RBI apiece to lead a 12-hit outburst by a team that batted just .198 through the first three games of the series.
The defending champion Cardinals can wrap up their second straight trip to the World Series as a wild card with a victory at home Friday night in Game 5. Lance Lynn faces Giants left-hander Barry Zito.
Lincecum was a bust in his first postseason start since the World Series clincher over Texas in 2010, giving up four runs in 42/3 innings.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner with the quirky delivery earned a shot based on nearly spotless relief work earlier in the postseason but reverted to regular-season form, when he was 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA, worst among qualifying starters in the National League.
Wainwright was a glorified cheerleader while rehabbing from elbow reconstruction during the Cardinals' improbable title drive last fall after earning the wild card on the final day, then upsetting the favored Phillies, Brewers and Rangers.
Under rookie manager Mike Matheny, the Cardinals also were the final team to qualify this year. Again they've stepped up their game.
Wainwright bounced back from a rough outing in Game 5 of the NL division series, striking out five and walking none for his first career postseason victory as a starter. The lone damage against him came on Hunter Pence's first homer and RBI of the postseason, a second-inning clout estimated at 451 feet that soared over the visitor's bullpen into the bleachers in left-center to cut the Cardinals' lead to 2-1.
Now the 14-game winner is on the verge of his first World Series as an active player since striking out Brandon Inge as the stand-in closer for the injured Jason Isringhausen in the 2006 clincher over the Tigers.
Just 12 pitches in, the Cardinals had two hits and the lead, and Lincecum got a visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti. Jay opened the first with a single, Matt Carpenter walked on four pitches and Holliday singled up the middle for the lead. Allen Craig tacked on a sacrifice fly.
The Cardinals missed a chance in the second after Pete Kozma reached on third baseman Pablo Sandoval's fielding error to open the inning, but he was then thrown out trying to steal.
Lincecum had retired eight straight before running into trouble in the fifth.
Carpenter doubled off the top of the wall in right-center with one out. He held up until Holliday's single fell in front of fast-charging center fielder Angel Pagan, but third base coach Jose Oquendo aggressively waved Carpenter home.
The relay from shortstop Brandon Crawford was in time, but short-hopped catcher Hector Sanchez and Carpenter scored on a headfirst slide to make it 3-1 while Holliday went to second on the play.
Molina's two-out RBI single made it 4-1 and that was the knockout blow for Lincecum.