Giants Win NLCS Game 6 in Convincing Fashion Over Cardinals, Forcing Winner-Take-All Game 7

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Giants Win NLCS Game 6 in Convincing Fashion Over Cardinals, Forcing Winner-Take-All Game 7SAN FRANCISCO — Ryan
Vogelsong
and the San Francisco Giants saved their season once more,
pushing St. Louis to a winner-take-all Game 7 in the NL championship
series.

It turns out the defending champion Cardinals aren't the only team that's tough to put away in October.

Vogelsong struck out a
career-best nine in another postseason gem, and the Giants avoided
elimination for a second straight game by beating St. Louis 6-1 on
Sunday night.

Marco Scutaro delivered a two-run
double, and Buster Posey drove in his first run of the series with a
groundout in the first inning as San Francisco struck early to support
Vogelsong.

San Francisco's Matt Cain and St.
Louis' Kyle Lohse are set to pitch in a rematch of Game 3, won by the
Cardinals. There's a forecast of rain in the Bay Area during the day.

"This place is going to be loud, I can tell you that," Vogelsong said.

These wild-card Cardinals sure
seem to like the all-or-nothing route in October, while San Francisco
thrives playing from behind.

Five games with their year on the
line, five wins for these gutsy Giants this postseason. Now, it comes
down to one game for the past two World Series champions to get back — with the Detroit Tigers waiting.

Pitching to chants of "Vogey!
Vogey!" from the sellout crowd of 43,070 at AT&T Park, the
right-hander didn't allow a hit until Daniel Descalso's broken-bat
single to center with two outs in the fifth. Vogelsong struck out the
side in the first and had already fanned five through two innings.

Scutaro had no chance for a
collision with Matt Holliday this time. In their first game back at
AT&T Park since Holliday took out the second baseman with a hard
slide in Game 2, Holliday was scratched about an hour before first pitch
because of tightness in his lower back, and Allen Craig replaced him in
left field.

It hardly mattered the way Vogelsong pitched.

The Cardinals managed their only
run on Craig's two-out single in the sixth. St. Louis had gone 15
innings without scoring after left-hander Barry Zito won 5-0 on Friday
in Game 5.

"I just tried to do really the same thing he did, come out and set the tone early for us," Vogelsong said.

Vogelsong had his second stellar
seven-inning outing against the Cardinals in a week, allowing four hits
and one run in seven innings. He walked one in a 102-pitch performance
and lowered his postseason ERA — all this year — to 1.42.

"I just believe that it's my time," Vogelsong said.

After taking a 3-1 lead back
home at Busch Stadium, Mike Matheny's Cardinals will have to find some
offense in a hurry if they want to get back to the World Series.

These Cards might just prefer close calls. Just like last year.

They won the NL's second wild
card on the second-to-last day of the regular season, then won at
Atlanta to reach the division series. The Cardinals rallied from a 6-0
deficit with a four-run ninth inning to stun the Washington Nationals
9-7 in Game 5 of the division series.

The Giants got to St. Louis ace
Chris Carpenter again. The Cardinals winningest postseason pitcher with
10 victories looked out of sync for the second straight start — and he
left with a nearly identical line as in his 7-1 Game 2 loss here last
Monday, down to the hits, earned runs, unearned runs and innings.

Carpenter was done in by one big inning this time, too. He allowed six hits and five runs, two earned, in four innings.

Vogelsong reached on shortstop
Pete Kozma
's fielding error in the second, scoring Brandon Belt after he
led off the inning with a triple. Scutaro came up two batters later and
doubled home two more runs.

The 10 unearned runs allowed by
the Cardinals are the most in an NLCS, according to STATS, LLC — topping
the nine given up by the Braves in 2001 and Dodgers in 1985.

San Francisco never faced an
elimination game in 2010 on the way to winning the World Series but has
had to go the distance in each of its first two postseason series this
year. The Giants became the first team in major league history to come back
from a 2-0 deficit to win a best-of-five series by winning three
straight on the road as they did at Cincinnati.

They have Vogelsong for this year's run.

While the Giants have won five
straight games facing elimination this postseason, the Cardinals have
won their last six dating to last year.

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