The St. Louis Cardinals tied up their NLCS series against the San Francisco Giants with a power surge of sorts on Sunday night.
Desperately needing a win before the series shifted out west, the Cardinals hit four home runs on their way to a 5-4 victory against the Giants. With the series tied 1-1, Game 3 will be in San Francisco on Tuesday night.
St. Louis got an early home run from Matt Carpenter, but waited until the later innings to put on a display of long balls.
Trailing 3-2 in the seventh inning, pinch hitter Oscar Taveras hit a solo home run to tie the game. Matt Adams hit another solo shot for the Cardinals in the eight, giving St. Louis a brief 4-3 lead. A wild pitch in the ninth by St. Louis’ Trevor Rosenthal scored the Giants’ Matt Duffy to tie the game again, and the stage was set for unlikely hero, Kolten Wong.
Wong hit yet another blast for the Cardinals, giving the team the walk-off win in the ninth inning off of reliever Sergio Romo. On the season, Wong batted only .249 with 12 home runs, making him an unlikely candidate to come up big. For the second baseman, it was his only hit of the night.
The home runs were an unexpected surprise from St. Louis to say the least. During the regular season, the team finished dead last in the National League in long balls with only 105 — an average of only .62 per game. Safe to say, the four the club slugged on Sunday isn’t exactly a regular occurrence.
The Giants didn’t get a great start from Jake Peavy (two earned runs and three walks in only four innings of work), but the bullpen was far worse. After two scoreless innings from Jeremy Affeldt, three different relievers gave up home runs to the three Cardinals batters. All told, after Affeldt’s exit, four San Francisco pitchers out of the bullpen allowed four hits and three runs, blowing a lead in the process and missing the opportunity to send the game into extra innings.
St. Louis’ bullpen had issues, too.
After Lance Lynn gave the team 5 2/3 strong innings, five Cardinals’ relievers allowed four hits and two earned runs over the remaining 3 1/3 innings pitched. When the aforementioned wild pitch by Rosenthal is considered, the Cardinals’ pen had a pretty miserable night themselves.
Seventeen different players collected at least one hit and the Giants’ Gregor Blanco was the only one on either side with two on the night.
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