Giants Down Cardinals To Extend NL Championship Series

SportsBaseballSan Francisco GiantsSt. Louis CardinalsBarry ZitoNational LeagueWorld Series

Oct 19 (Reuters) - The San Francisco Giants beat the St Louis Cardinals 5-0 on Friday to stave off elimination and extend the National League Championship Series (NLCS) to a sixth game back at their home ballpark.

A four-run burst in the fourth inning gave Giants starter Barry Zito all the offense he needed. The left-hander kept the Cardinals off-balance with a pinpoint fastball, changeup and slow curve as the Giants narrowed the Cardinals' lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.

Singles by Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval opened the fourth before a throwing error by St Louis starter Lance Lynn allowed the Giants to score a run. Brandon Crawford hit a two-run single and Zito brought in another run with a bunt base hit.

Pablo Sandoval added a home run in the eighth inning to cap the scoring.

Zito went seven and two-thirds innings against the reigning World Series champions, holding them to six hits while striking out six.

The Giants, who overcame a 2-0 deficit in the division round by winning the last three games against Cincinnati, will try to keep their NLCS comeback alive on Sunday when they send Ryan Vogelsong to the mound against Chris Carpenter.

American League champions Detroit await the winners in the World Series, which will start on Wednesday in the National League champion's home stadium.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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