St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants just might have the
St. Louis Cardinals right where they want them.
With a 7 2/3-inning gem from Barry Zito leading the way, the Giants staved off
elimination for the fourth time this postseason by recording a 5-0 win over
the Cardinals in Game 5, sending the National League Championship Series back
to San Francisco and putting St. Louis' bid for a second consecutive World
Series appearance at least on hold.
Zito (1-0) scattered six hits and a walk while striking out six in turning
in another clutch late-season performance that trimmed the Giants' deficit to
3-2 in this series. The battle-tested lefty also contributed on the offensive
end, dropping in an RBI bunt single that capped a four-run fourth inning.
Brandon Crawford knocked in two runs and Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-4 with a
solo homer and scored twice to help San Francisco, which battled back from a
2-0 hole to overtake Cincinnati in the best-of-five NLCS, stay alive.
The Giants have now prevailed in each of Zito's last 13 starts, and he's
posted an 8-0 mark with a 3.61 earned run average over that outstanding
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn (1-2) wasn't as effective in failing to make it
out of the fourth inning for a second straight NLCS start. The 18-game winner
during the regular season surrendered four runs -- though all were unearned
due to a costly throwing error of his own doing -- on four hits and a pair of
walks along with six strikeouts.
Lynn also lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed four runs in St. Louis' 6-4
road win over the Giants in Game 1.
Yadier Molina accounted for two of seven total hits for the reigning world
champion Cardinals, who gained the upper hand in this set by earning victories
at Busch Stadium in each of the previous two days.
These teams will next meet Sunday at AT&T Park with a 7:45 (ET) start time.
The pitching matchup will be a reprisal of Game 2, with Chris Carpenter taking
the ball for the Cardinals and Ryan Vogelsong toeing the rubber for San
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