(BaseballStL) — The Giants finished the game in the 10th inning, after getting two men on to begin their rally.
Randy Choate walked Brandon Crawford to begin the inning, then Juan Perez singled with two strikes after two failed bunt attempts.
Gregor Blanco stepped in and followed with another bunt attempt, laying it down in front of the mound. Choate came forward and fielded it, but turned and threw wide. Kolten Wong was covering the bag at first and dove to try to knock it down, but it sailed down the line into the bullpen, scoring Crawford and ending the game 5-4.
Peter Bourjos (pinch hitting for Maness) grounded out to begin the first frame of extras, slapping a grounder right at Brandon Crawford. Matt Carpenter fanned behind him, leaving Jon Jay to stand in with two outs against reliever Javier Lopez.
He picked up his third hit of the day with a grounder up the middle, forcing Bruce Bochy to bring in late-inning man Sergio Romo to face Matt Holliday.
The Cardinal left fielder got behind 0-1 before working a full count. On pitch number six, Holliday ripped a ball down the line to third. Sandoval dove and gloved it, then fired to first to end the inning.
Pat Neshek and Seth Maness got the Cardinals through the eighth and ninth innings, after the Cardinals were unable to take the lead in either frame.
It created a trouble spot for Mike Matheny, since Maness’ spot in the order led off the tenth, forcing him to remove the reliever even though he threw only six pitches.
Marco Gonzales came on in the seventh to throw a clean inning, striking out two and getting a pop up to finish the Giants in order.
The Giants stuck with Affeldt, who worked a 1-2-3 inning of his own with help from center fielder Gregor Blanco.
After saving a hit with a sliding catch to set down Matt Adams for the second out, the speedy outfielder ranged to his left to snare a tailing liner from Peralta. The Cardinals sent out Pat Neshek to handle the heart of the San Francisco order.
Randal Grichuk erased the memory of the first inning fly ball with one swing in the seventh, hammering a ball off the left field foul pole for his second postseason homer.
It also erased the lead, knotting the game at 4-4. Hudson had gotten Pierzynski to line out to left, but Grichuk’s swing knocked him out of the game.
Jeremy Affeldt came on to get pinch hitter Daniel Descalso with a grounder, but Matt Carpenter worked a full-count single after falling behind 0-2.
Jon Jay hit a chopper to second for the final out, but the game is now tied with the bullpens in play.
One run away
Jon Jay continued to bother Hudson at the plate, ripping his second single of the game to lead off the sixth.
Holliday and Adams grounded out behind him, but the two outs moved Jay station to station around to third.
Peralta came through with his first RBI of the 2014 postseason, slapping a ball that bounced away from Sandoval at third.
It scored Jay and cut the lead to 4-3. Wong flew out to end things, setting up Lackey for what is presumably his last inning.
Lackey continued to smother the Giants through the next two innings, working around a single from Hudson to retire six out of seven batters.
Hudson fanned Grichuk to lead off the fifth, then managed to strand Lackey after hitting him, getting Matt Carpenter to hit into an inning ending double play. Lackey was the first pitcher ever hit by Hudson in his 16-year career.
Cardinals come back
In the fourth, the Cardinals got the leadoff man aboard when Jay laced a single into left. Holliday joined him with a single in the next at-bat, and the Cardinals had back-to-back hits for the first time in seven innings.
Adams lined out to center, leaving the RBI opportunity in the hands of Jhonny Peralta.
After getting ahead 2-0, the Cardinal shortstop took a strike before spoiling two tough pitches with foul balls. On the sixth pitch, he chased a rare Hudson curveball down and away for the second out.
Kolten Wong wouldn’t lay down, however, continuing his hot streak with a two-run double off the wall in right.
In a near carbon copy of the play that ate up Randal Grichuk, Hunter Pence tracked Wong’s soaring fly ball and saw it bounce off the wall in nearly the exact same spot. Jay and Holliday scored, leaving Wong on third for Pierzynski.
He grounded out to second to end the inning, but the Cards had halved the lead.
Lackey settled in after the first frame, retiring six of the next seven hitters. The lone baserunner was Sandoval, who was caught by a pitch for a free trip to first base.
After 21 first-inning pitches, he took care of the next two with 24.
Unfortunately, Tim Hudson handled three innings at the same pace, throwing 45 scoreless pitches and striking out three without a walk.
A Cardinal hit
Kolten Wong broke into the hit column for the Cardinals, ripping a two-out double into center for the first St. Louis base runner.
The inning would end without incident, however, when A.J. Pierzynski struck out one batter later. Hudson worked back-to-back sinkers low and away, getting the Cardinal catcher to chase as the pitches disappeared off the plate.
A disastrous first
The Cardinals went down in order in the first, with Matt Carpenter taking a called third, Jon Jay flying to left and Matt Holliday grounding out to second. Tim Hudson was sharp, throwing 11 pitches in the first inning.
John Lackey got a quick pop up, but AT&T Park quickly demonstrated why it’s such a tough park to defend one hitter later. Joe Panik hit a ball toward the right center gap, and Jay broke into a full sprint. After what felt like 100 yards of full-tilt running, the center fielder laid out and snared the ball before it hit the grass.
With two down, San Francisco’s bats woke up.
Buster Posey punched a single into right, and Pablo Sandoval hit an 0-2 fastball safely in front of Holliday to put two aboard.
Lackey came back to get Hunter Pence down 0-2, but the right fielder broke the game open with his unorthodox swing. Pence flailed at a 94 mile per hour fast ball up and away, connecting to send it down the right field line.
Posey scored, but the Giants held Sandoval at third. Brandon Belt got ahead 3-0, so Lackey put him on intentionally to load the bases.
It would prove disastrous one pitch later, when Travis Ishikawa sent a ball into the stratosphere. Randal Grichuk ran back to track it, but as it blew around in the Bay Area wind, he seemed to be unable to determine the landing zone. It floated toward the wall and looked to be headed out, but as the right fielder gave up on it, it fell short and bounced off the wall three feet from him.
The bases cleared, and the Giants had a 4-0 lead.
The inning ended with a fly ball to left, but the Cards trail early and Lackey has thrown 21 pitches. It took four of those to get the first two outs, the other 17 to close the inning.