Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY Sports
SAN FRANCISCO - Elimination games have brought out the best in the San Francisco Giants this postseason. One more such performance and they'll find themselves back in the World Series.
Ryan Vogelsong allowed four hits and one run in seven innings and the Giants turned a crucial error into a four-run second on the way to a 6-1 victory Sunday over the St. Louis Cardinals, tying the National League Championship Series at 3-3.
It was the fifth time this offseason the Giants staved off elimination, after coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the Division Series and from a 3-1 hole in the NLCS. They outscored the opposition 27-9 in those games.
Of the 33 teams who have trailed 3-1 in an LCS, only six have advanced to the World Series.
San Francisco ace Matt Cain, who threw a perfect game this season and started the All-Star Game, will oppose fellow 16-game winner Kyle Lohse in tonight's Game 7. The winner of this series pitting the last two World Series champions will face the Detroit Tigers for the championship, beginning Wednesday.
Vogelsong, who once found himself banished to the minor leagues in Japan during a four-year stint out of the majors, was even sharper than in his victorious Game 2 outing, in which he also gave up one run in seven innings.
Facing a win-or-else game, he set a career high with nine strikeouts and did not allow a hit to the high-powered Cardinals until Daniel Descalso singled with two outs in the fifth.
For the third time this series, the Giants turned a key error into a big inning. They led 1-0 and had runners at the corners with one out in the second when shortstop Pete Kozma mishandled Vogelsong's chopper. A run came in, and Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval followed with hits that built the margin to 5-0.
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter, who came into the series with a 10-2 career record in the postseason, took his second loss by giving up five runs - two earned - in four innings. He posted identical numbers in Game 2.
USA TODAY Sports