Cardinals bullpen cuts down Giants

Cardinals bullpen cuts down Giants

Cardinals bullpen cuts down Giants

Carlos Beltran. AP photo

The revitalized St. Louis Cardinals made full use of their bullpen to stave off a San Francisco Giants fightback for a 6-4 road victory in the opening game of the National League Championship Series on Oct. 14.

The defending World Series champions had rallied from a 6-0 deficit in a Game Five decider against Washington last week but this time, their own six-run lead was threatened before they held on to draw first blood in the best-of-seven series. St. Louis called on six relievers, who combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings to finish off a game that had looked to be slipping away when starter Lance Lynn allowed four runs in the bottom of the fourth.

“Those guys have been outstanding for us, hats off to the bullpen tonight,” St. Louis infielder Daniel Descalso told reporters. “A couple big swings, that was basically the difference in the ball game.”

Title hopes

David Freese blasted a two-run homer in the second and Carlos Beltran added a two-run shot in the top of the fourth to sting an AT&T Park crowd that had cheered him on as one of their own just last season.
“I understand that they’re not going to root for me, but at the same time I’m here to win a championship,” Beltran said after blasting his 14th career playoff homer and third in the post-season. “It was a good day for me (but) the reason why we’re here is because of our bullpen.”