The St Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 8-3 in game four of the NL Championship Series, taking a 3-1 lead in the series.
After getting shelled in his last start, the Cardinals' 9-7 comeback win over the Nationals to advance to the NLCS, Adam Wainwright turned in a gem for the Cardinals on Thursday, allowing one run on four hits over seven innings while striking out five without a walk. All of the runs the Giants scored came via the home run, with a Hunter Pence solo shot in the second inning putting them on the board (and making a game of things, as they trailed just 2-1 after Pence's homer) and a two-run shot by Pablo Sandoval in the ninth merely damaging the St Louis bullpen ERA.
On the other hand, the Cardinals took full advantage of an off-his-game Tim Lincecum. They plated two runs in the first inning and threatened in the second before going crazy in the fourth, scoring two more runs off of Lincecum before he was removed after just 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits, walking three and striking out three. After Lincecum left the game, the Cardinals tacked four more runs on the board against the Giants bullpen, scroing twice against George Kontos in the sixth and twice against Guillermo Mota in the seventh.
The Cardinals got contributions from their entire lineup, with every starter getting a hit aside from Wainwright, who earned a walk. The team even coasted without playoff hero Carlos Beltran, who missed the game with a knee injury. Matt Carpenter got the start at first base with regular first baseman Allen Craig moving to right field, and Carpenter ended up going 1/3 with a double, two runs, and two walks.
Game five will be on Friday, and the Cardinals are just one win away from their second straight NL pennant. First pitch is scheduled for 8:00, and Barry Zito will start for the Giants against Lance Lynn for the Cardinals.