Giants, Cardinals Return to NLCS
The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals will meet in the National League Championship Series for the second time in three years beginning on Saturday. Here's a recap of Tuesday's action:
Giants Bounce Nationals, 3-2, On Wild Pitch In 8th
Joe Panik scored on a wild pitch by Aaron Barrett in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the Giants advanced to the National League Championship Series by edging the Washington Nationals, 3-2, in San Francisco on Tuesday. The Giants won the best-of-five series three games to one. They'll face the Cardinals beginning on Saturday in St. Louis.
After Nationals slugger Bryce Harper tied the game in the top of the seventh inning on a mammoth solo home run into the waters of McCovey Cove, San Francisco rallied in the bottom of the frame. Panik and Buster Posey each slapped one-out singles off Washington reliever Matt Thornton. Barrett then relieved Thornton, but he loaded the bases with a walk to Hunter Pence.
Panik scored the decisive run when Barrett's 2-1 pitch to Pablo Sandoval bounced in front of the plate and over the head of catcher Wilson Ramos.
The Giants nearly added another run when Barrett's fourth ball on an ensuing intentional walk to Sandoval sailed to the backstop. Instead, Ramos gunned out Posey, who was attempting to add insurance to the slim lead. Rafael Soriano relieved Barrett and retired Brandon Belt, but the damage was done.
Hunter Strickland recorded the win. He combined with starter Ryan Vogelsong, and relievers Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla to limit the NL East champs to four hits in the game.
Harper had two hits and two RBIs for the Nationals.Thornton took the loss for Washington.
San Francisco Giants defeat Washington Nationals, 3-0
Game 1: San Francisco 3, Washington 2
Game 2: San Francisco 2, Washington 1 (18)
Game 3: Washington 4, San Francisco 1
Game 4: San Francisco 3, Washington 2
Home team in bold
Matt Adams HR Lifts Cardinals Over Dodgers, 3-2,
Matt Adams hit a dramatic three-run homer, and the Cardinals advanced to their fourth straight National League Championship Series by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-2, in St. Louis on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals captured the best-of-five division series three games-to-one. They'll host the Giants in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday.
Behind the one-hit pitching of starter Clayton Kershaw, L.A. carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 4. Consecutive singles by Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta preceded Adams' blast off Kershaw, who was pitching on three days rest.
Dodgers' star Yasiel Puig, who was left out of the starting lineup by manager Don Mattingly, was stranded as the potential tying run when St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal got Carl Crawford to hit into a force out at second base to end the game.
Earlier in the series, Puig struck out in seven consecutive at-bats before tripling in Game 3. Andre Ethier, who replaced Puig in the lineup, was 0-for-2 with two walks.
After compiling a stellar 21-3 record in the regular season, Kershaw suffered his second loss in the short series. Marco Gonzales got the win for the Cardinals.
St. Louis Cardinals defeat Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-2
Game 1: St. Louis 10, L.A. Dodgers 9
Game 2: L.A. Dodgers 3, St. Louis 2
Game 3: St. Louis 3, L.A. Dodgers 1
Game 4: St. Louis 3, L.A. Dodgers 2
Home team in bold