Jorge Ortiz, USA TODAY Sports
The winners of the last two World Series will now meet in St. Louis, all tied up and perhaps riled up as well.
The National League Championship Series might have gained an extra edge Monday when the San Francisco Giants tied it at 1 after beating the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 behind Marco Scutaro's clutch hit and Ryan Vogelsong's outstanding pitching.
Scutaro capped a four-run fourth inning with a two-out, bases-loaded single that Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday mishandled, allowing a third run to score as San Francisco took a 5-1 lead against veteran playoff ace Chris Carpenter.
The Giants second baseman was leveled in the first inning by Holliday's hard takedown over the base to break up a double play. Scutaro stayed in the game but was shaking his left leg while in the field and left after the fifth inning with a hip injury. Postgame X-rays were negative.
"Scutaro staying in the game and what he did was extremely inspiring," Giants right fielder Hunter Pence said. "We all know what's at stake."
Holliday was booed every time he came to bat.
"In hindsight," Holliday said, "I wish I would have started the slide a step earlier. But I went in there in the heat of the moment. There was no intent to hurt. It's part of the deal. Every run in the postseason is so huge."
Losing Scutaro would be a major blow for the Giants, who rely on a line-drive offense with little power and are not as explosive as the Cardinals. However, his replacement, Ryan Theriot, drove in the Giants' final two runs in the eighth inning.
The Giants, who needed a historic comeback in the division series to reach the NLCS, had lost their first three home games of the postseason. But they got a terrific outing from Vogelsong, who allowed four hits and one run in seven innings.