Thursday, May 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Giants beat Cardinals to force Game 7 of NLCS

SAN FRANCISCO — Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants saved their season once more, pushing the Cardinals to a winner-take-all Game 7 tonight in the NL Championship Series.

Turns out the defending-champion Cardinals aren't the only team that's tough to put away in October.

Vogelsong struck out a career-best nine in another postseason gem, and San Francisco held off elimination for a second straight game by beating St. Louis 6-1 Sunday night.

"We know what's at stake, and to get to this point we're excited," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We go out there and play like there's no tomorrow."

Marco Scutaro delivered a two-run double and Buster Posey drove in his first run of the series with a groundout in the first inning as the Giants struck early to support Vogelsong.

San Francisco's Matt Cain and St. Louis' Kyle Lohse are set to pitch tonight in a rematch of Game 3, won by the Cardinals. Rain is forecast during the day.

"This place is going to be loud, I can tell you that," Vogelsong said.

In five games with their season on the line, the Giants have won five times. Now, it comes down to one game for the past two World Series champions to get back, with Detroit waiting.

Pitching to chants of "Vogey! Vogey!" from the sellout crowd of 43,070 at AT&T Park, the right-hander didn't allow a hit until Daniel Descalso's broken-bat single to center with two outs in the fifth. Vogelsong struck out the side in the first and had already fanned five through two innings.

The Cardinals managed their only run on Allen Craig's two-out single in the sixth. St. Louis had gone 15 innings without scoring after left-hander Barry Zito won 5-0 Friday.

"I just tried to do really the same thing he did, come out and set the tone early for us," Vogelsong said.

Vogelsong had his second stellar seven-inning outing against the Cardinals in a week. He lowered his postseason ERA — all this year — to 1.42.

"I just believe that it's my time," he said.

After taking a 3-1 lead back home at Busch Stadium, Mike Matheny's Cardinals will have to find some offense in a hurry if they want to get back to the World Series.

They've faced close calls all year. They won the NL's second wild card on the second-to-last day of the regular season, then won at Atlanta to reach the NL Division Series. They rallied from a 6-0 deficit with a four-run ninth to stun the Nationals 9-7 in Game 5 of the NLDS.

The Giants got to St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter again. The Cardinals' all-time postseason leader with 10 victories looked out of synch for the second straight start, and he left with a nearly identical line as in his 7-1 Game 2 loss here last Monday.

Carpenter was done in by one big inning this time, too. Vogelsong reached on shortstop Pete Kozma's error in the second, scoring Brandon Belt after he led off with a triple. Scutaro came up two batters later and doubled home two more runs.

"The bottom line is," Carpenter said, "I'm not giving my team a chance to win."

National League Championship Series

Cardinals 3, Giants 3

Game 1: Cardinals 6, Giants 4

Game 2: Giants 7, Cardinals 1

Game 3: Cardinals 3, Giants 1

Game 4: Cardinals 8, Giants 3

Game 5: Giants 5, Cardinals 0

Sunday: Giants 6, Cardinals 1

Tonight: at San Francisco, 8:07

TV: All games Ch. 13

World Series

Tigers vs. TBD

Wednesday: at NL, TBD

Thursday: at NL, TBD

Saturday: at Detroit, TBD

Oct. 28: at Detroit, TBD

Oct. 29: at Detroit, TBD*

Oct. 31: at NL, TBD*

Nov. 1: at NL, TBD*

TV: All games Ch. 13

* If necessary

Comments
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Snell on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Snell on the mound

Having lost a pair of close games, the Rays will try again tonight to beat the Red Sox, and will have LHP Blake Snell on the mound.SS Willy Adames is in the lineup for the Rays for the third and what is expected to be the final time before being sent...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays morning after: Chris Archer, David Price sure matched up like they meant it

Rays morning after: Chris Archer, David Price sure matched up like they meant it

For two guys who said they didn't make much of matching up, they sure dueled like they did in Boston's 4-1 victory that was decided after they left.Chris Archer, the Rays current top starter, worked six impressive innings, allowing one run and four h...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Published: 05/24/18
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Published: 05/24/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Published: 05/23/18
Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

Rays’ Jake Faria may be out until August, Vidal Nuno called up

UPDATE, 5:32: Faria is looking at at extended absence, potentially into August. Cash said an estimate of 6-8 weeks was on the optimistic side. "From what we found out he got it pretty good," Cash said.  "So it could be a little bit longer than t...
Published: 05/23/18
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

UPDATE, 5:18: Ramos' bruised left thumb is feeling better and though he's not in the lineup Cash said he is available for emergency duty. … OF Carlos Gomez was set to run the bases today as the next test of his strained groin. … Cash said...
Published: 05/23/18
Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Rays morning after: Faria frustrated after latest letdown

Whatever pain RHP Jake Faria was feeling as a result of the oblique muscle on the left side he strained throwing a fourth-inning slider to Boston's Hanley Ramirez couldn't compare to the hurt in his heart.Forced to leave Tuesday's game and likely hea...
Published: 05/23/18
Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

Willy Adames homers, but Rays fall to Red Sox and suffer injuries

ST. PETERSBURG — Top prospect Willy Adames is only going to get to stay with the Rays for a few days, so good for him for making the most of it with a home run in his first big-league game, and off Red Sox ace Chris Sale no less.But the good fe...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays loss to Red Sox

Marc Topkin's takeaways from Rays 4-2 loss to Red Sox on Tuesday:* The Rays record against a Red Sox team they consider a measuring stick doesn't look very good at 3-8. But, as manager Kevin Cash and several players pointed out, there is some consola...
Published: 05/22/18