San Francisco, CA – The Giants rallied in the sixth separating themselves from the Cardinals who usually stick close by. But a few throwing errors from first baseman Matt Adams gave San Francisco some breathing room by scoring three runs in the inning. That was enough for the 6-4 victory over St. Louis, bringing them within one win from returning to the World Series.
“The one inning started with [Juan] Perez,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. “He goes up there and finds a way to get a walk and, of course, [Brandon] Crawford had a big day today. And [Matt] Duffy lays down a great bunt, and then you’re hoping to put the ball in play and good things happen.”
“Anytime you put pressure on the defense, you have the opportunity for good things to happen,” Buster Posey said.
Pinch-hitter Perez leadoff the inning with a walk, Brandon Crawford lined a single to right field putting two on with no outs. Pinch-hitter Matt Duffy’s sacrifice bunt advanced both runners before Gregor Blanco’s infield hit scored in Perez to tie the game 4-4. Adams throw home to catcher Tony Cruz was not in time to tag Perez out at the plate with the home plate umpire ruling him safe.
Joe Panik hit another grounder to Adams, who threw wide left to second baseman Kolten Wong in a attempt to rally a double play but failed resulting in a fielder’s choice. Crawford scored extending the San Francisco’s lead 5-4. Posey who went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and two RBI singles drove in three runs. He knocked a single to center field in the sixth driving in Blanco making it a 6-4 game.
“Flip the script, we were down 3-1 in St. Louis two years ago, so we have that fresh in our minds,” said Posey. “We know we’re going to have a tough game tomorrow.”
After going two innings of no score, the Giants took advantage of the Cardinals bullpen. For the first three innings, St. Louis leadoff with a hit, and Matt Holliday kept the offense going when he doubled in the fourth. Adams followed with a single, Jhonny Peralta hit into a double play scoring in Holliday making it a 3-1 game.
Then Wong took Ryan Vogelsong deep on a solo shot extending the Cardinals lead 4-1. That chased Vogelsong off the mound who showed signs of struggle in the first. He tossed three frames, surrendering seven hits, four runs, two walks, struck out one and gave up one home run. Vogelsong lasted three innings, the shortest postseason start of his career.
“They jumped on me early and I never really got a chance to settle in,” Vogelsong said. “We saw it with [John] Lackey yesterday, that first inning can be tough when guys are on base and you don’t really get a chance to settle in and he really did a good job of rebounding but they stayed on me.”
“He was a little up,” said Bochy. “He’s missing his spots more than his last start. You know it’s kind of a rough start for him. The first ball hit, looked like it hit the lip and ends up getting a double on that ball. Gregor missed getting the other ball. He had some tough luck and that added to some missed spots he had tonight.”
St. Louis set the tone early in the first, Matt Carpenter grounded a ball past second baseman Panik and it was ruled a double. Vogelsong walked Jon Jay putting two on with one out. Adams followed knocking a single to left field driving in Carpenter making it a 1-0 game. Peralta grounded out to third basemen Pablo Sandoval rallying the double play to end the threat. Sandoval to shortstop Crawford at second base to first baseman Brandon Belt.
The Giants clapped back, leadoff Blanco hit a fly ball to center field, but center fielder Jay dropped the ball off his glove. Blanco safe at second, Panik followed with a single to right putting two on in the corners with no outs. Posey’s sacrifice fly tied the game 1-1. Sandoval grounded into a double play to end the inning, ironic that he rallied the double play to end top of the first.
Wong stayed hot, he leadoff the second with a double followed by A.J. Pierzynski’s RBI single extending St. Louis’ lead 2-1. Vogelsong forced Randal Grichuk to pop out but walked Carpenter putting two on with two outs. Pitching coach Dave Righetti came out to the mound to calm Vogelsong down and it worked because he struck out Jay to end the inning.
San Francisco didn’t give up, Posey drove in his second run of the night after he hit a RBI single in the third cutting the lead in half 4-2. Shelby Miller walked Sandoval putting two on with two outs, Hunter Pence’s RBI single up the middle trimmed the lead down to one. The Giants scored two runs keeping their offense alive.
“Big day, three RBI’s,” Bochy said. “Had some huge RBI’s, two-out hits and getting that insurance run, that second run, to give us a two-run lead. That’s always huge.”