Win puts Cards on brink of World Series return
ST. LOUIS, Missouri — The World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals powered past San Francisco 8-3 on Thursday to move within one victory of returning to Major League Baseball’s championship showcase.
The victory gave the Cardinals a 3-1 lead over the Giants in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series with a chance to wrap up the set at home on Friday.
Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright kept Giants batters at bay over seven strong innings.
Wainwright, who was roughed up for six runs in just 2 1/3 innings in game five of the division series against Washington, redeemed himself, giving up four hits and one run with five strikeouts before departing.
Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and Yadier Molina had two RBIs apiece to pace a flood of 12 hits by a St. Louis team that had batted just .198 through the first three games of the series.
Allen Craig and Pete Kozma each drove in a run.
Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum struggled in his first start of the post-season — after coming out of the bullpen in prior games. He yielded four runs on six hits with three walks in 4 2/3 innings.
San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval belted a two-run homer in the ninth and Hunter Pence had a solo homer, but the Giants have lost back-to-back road games for the first time since July.