Monday, December 11, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

NLCS, Game 5: San Francisco Giants hold off St. Louis Cardinals

ST. LOUIS — The Giants waited quite a while for this kind of performance from Barry Zito.

The soft-tossing left-hander was at his best Friday night, pitching San Francisco back into the NL Championship Series with a 5-0 win over the Cardinals, cutting the series deficit to 3-2.

"This is definitely it for me," Zito, 34, said. "Coming here, especially doing it in a Giants uniform. A lot of people were saying stuff about the A's days. And for me, the most important thing is doing everything for San Francisco right now."

The Giants' win in Game 5 sent the series to San Francisco. Game 6 begins Sunday in the twilight at AT&T Park, with Ryan Vogelsong pitching against the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter.

Zito looked like the same guy who won the 2002 AL Cy Young award with the A's. He retired 11 batters in a row in one stretch while scattering six hits with six strikeouts in 7⅔ innings. St. Louis did not muster much even though Carlos Beltran returned from a strained left knee to the starting lineup and went 1-for-4.

It was Zito's first postseason win since 2006, shortly before he left the A's and signed a $126 million, seven-year contract with San Francisco.

Zito was left off the postseason roster when the Giants won the 2010 World Series because he had pitched so ineffectively. He started Game 4 of the division series against the Reds earlier in this year's playoffs and lasted only 2⅔ innings.

"I couldn't be happier for him," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had it all going. He put on quite a show."

The defending champion Cardinals might have thrown away a chance to clinch a second straight World Series trip. Pitcher Lance Lynn's toss on a possible forceout deflected off the second-base bag, paving the way for the Giants' four-run fourth.

"I don't mind him being aggressive if he's got the play," manager Mike Matheny said. "(Shortstop Pete) Kozma was in the right place, (Lynn) just made a low throw.

"And to do it over again, I'm sure he'd like to take the easy out at first base."

Pablo Sandoval homered for the second straight night and Zito made a rare offensive contribution with a perfectly executed bunt for an RBI single.

Giants defenders made several nice plays behind Zito, including a juggling catch in right by Hunter Pence and a spectacular sliding stop by second baseman Marco Scutaro to rob pinch-hitter Shane Robinson on consecutive at-bats.

Once again this postseason, the Giants benefited from a big error.

Needing three straight wins at Cincinnati to avoid elimination in the division series, San Francisco began its comeback on a bobble by third baseman Scott Rolen in the 10th inning that gave the Giants the go-ahead run in Game 3.

The Giants improved to 4-2 on the road this postseason and have won Zito's past 13 starts.

National League Championship Series

Cardinals 3, Giants 2

Game 1: Cardinals 6, Giants 4

Game 2: Giants 7, Cardinals 1

Game 3: Cardinals 3, Giants 1

Game 4: Cardinals 8, Giants 3

Friday: Giants 5, Cardinals 0

Sunday: at San Francisco, 7:37

Monday: at San Francisco, 8:07*

TV: All games Ch. 13

* If necessary

American League Championship Series

Tigers 4, Yankees 0

 
Comments
Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria considers his future with the Rays "somewhere in limbo" based on speculation he could be traded as part of a cost-cutting and rebuilding movement."I don't know what to think, really,'' Longoria told the Tampa Ba...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 9 hours ago
AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

AL East life gets even tougher for Rays with Yankees acquiring slugger Giancarlo Stanton from Marlins

The Marlins apparently found a trade to Giancarlo Stanton's liking, reportedly striking a deal early Saturday to send the slugging outfielder to the Yankees.That's bad news for the Rays and the other AL East teams, who will now have to face Stanton &...
Published: 12/09/17
Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed takes part in event supporting fight against ALS

Tampa Bay Rays radio broadcaster Andy Freed was up early Saturday to meet up with the Bladerunners team in Clearwater at the ALS Association Florida Chapter's annual Ride, Run, Roll to Defeat ALS, supporting Mike Leist, a former history teacher at St...
Published: 12/09/17
Winter Meetings Preview: Ranking the Rays most likely to be dealt

Winter Meetings Preview: Ranking the Rays most likely to be dealt

Rays officials head to Disney for this week’s winter meetings admitting they don’t know what they’re doing. Wait — that’s not exactly right. It’s more that they don’t know what they’re going to do.Having spent months collecting info and discussing op...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/09/17
Dwight Gooden dons Santa suit, but scene is hardly festive

Dwight Gooden dons Santa suit, but scene is hardly festive

NEW YORK — In one sense, there was nothing unusual about what Dwight Gooden was doing Tuesday night. In the spirit of the holiday season, he had been summoned to dress like Santa Claus and, as a result, was decked out in a red suit and hat, a curly w...
Published: 12/08/17

Rays sue outgoing concessionaire over "sad history" of failures

The Tampa Bay Rays sued outgoing concessionaire Centerplate in U.S. District Court on Friday, alleging the company harmed the team’s reputation, damaged its facilities and did not pay a fair share of revenue as part of a "sad history of failing to fu...
Published: 12/08/17
Ohtani makes surprising decision in picking Angels; will face Rays in July at the Trop

Ohtani makes surprising decision in picking Angels; will face Rays in July at the Trop

Japanese two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani decided on his team Friday, and it was something of a surprise as he opted to sign with the Angels.The Mariners and Padres had emerged as the favorites from the seven teams that were chosen, from the full fiel...
Published: 12/08/17
As Tampa Bay Rays head to winter meetings, they are open to “anything and everything” in terms of deals

As Tampa Bay Rays head to winter meetings, they are open to “anything and everything” in terms of deals

Tampa Bay Rays officials will head to next week's winter meetings at Disney eager to get started making moves and willing to consider just about anything – and trading anybody – that they feel makes sense."We have to be open," GM Erik Nea...
Published: 12/07/17

How Ohtani, Stanton deals could impact Rays’ offseason plans

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays, like much of baseball, are waiting for the white smoke, for Shohei Ohtani to pick where he is signing and for Giancarlo Stanton to decide on accepting a trade to the Cardinals, Giants or whatever other team might be involve...
Published: 12/07/17