NLCS in rain delay; Cardinals lead Giants, 3-1, in seventh [update]

ST. LOUIS -- The San Francisco Giants might well have worried that Carpenter would beat them.

But not this one.

The Giants beat St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter on Monday, but Matt Carpenter just might beat the Giants on Wednesday. The unheralded rookie delivered the Cardinals’ biggest hit in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.

The Cardinals and Giants entered what might be a lengthy rain delay in the seventh inning, with St. Louis leading, 3-1. Lightning could be observed within minutes after the players left the field.

[Update, 7:07 p.m.: Game 3 of the NLCS resumed at 7:06 p.m. Pacific time.]

Baseball rules require postseason games to be played to completion. The Cardinals could be declared winners in this circumstance during the regular season, but not in the playoffs.

The Giants appeared to have caught a break when Carlos Beltran left the game in the second inning because of a strained left knee.

Beltran is batting .400 this postseason, with three home runs in nine games. The Cardinals replaced him with Carpenter, a rookie who had five at-bats in the division series and struck out three times.

If every character has his kryptonite, then Giants ace Matt Cain has Carpenter. In his only four previous at-bats against Cain, Carpenter had four hits.

And, in the third inning, Carpenter made it five for five with a two-run home run that gave the Cardinals their only runs through the first six innings.

From that point, Cain retired 11 of the next 12 batters. The Giants, meanwhile, had at least two men on base in every inning from the second through the seventh. They had left 11 men on base through the top of the seventh inning.


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