St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Overcoming an injury to Carlos Beltran and a lengthy weather delay, the St. Louis Cardinals gained the upper hand in the National League Championship Series with a 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants in Game 3 from Busch Stadium.
Matt Carpenter belted a two-run homer in his first at-bat in place of Beltran, while Kyle Lohse worked out of a number of jams over a 5 2/3-inning stint as the defending World Series champion Cardinals took a 2-1 lead in the best-of- seven set after waiting out a stoppage of nearly 3 1/2 hours during the bottom of the seventh caused by thunderstorms.
Despite issuing a season-high five walks along with seven hits, Lohse (2-0) held the Giants to one run before turning things over to the St. Louis bullpen. Four Cardinal relievers combined for 3 1/3 shutout innings, with closer Jason Motte perfect over the final two to notch his second save of this NLCS.
Beltran left after one inning with a left knee strain the veteran outfielder suffered while grounding into a double play in his only plate appearance.
The Giants came through with several clutch hits in evening this series with a 7-1 triumph in San Francisco in Sunday's Game 2, but stranded 11 baserunners while going 0-for-7 with men in scoring position in this one.
Pablo Sandoval finished 2-for-5 and drove in the Giants' lone run, while starting pitcher Matt Cain (1-2) permitted all three St. Louis runs over the first 6 2/3 innings.
Marco Scutaro was in the San Francisco lineup after exiting Game 2 with a strained left hip, the result of a hard slide the second baseman endured from the Cardinals' Matt Holliday, and also collected two hits.
Game 4 will take place Thursday at Busch Stadium beginning at 8:07 p.m. (et), with Adam Wainwright getting the call for the Cardinals. Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to declare a starter, with former Cy Young Award winners Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito among the options.
The Sports Network