Giants

Cardinals channel history, blow 3-1 NLCS lead

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Cardinals channel history, blow 3-1 NLCS lead

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Vogelsong's first pitch -- the first of many biting two-seam fastballs -- sparked a three-strikeout inning and sent a message to the Cardinals that they were in for a long night. St. Louis became just the fourth team ever to take a 3-1 LCS lead and go on to allow a Game 7.

The strange part about it? They've done it before.

Sixteen years ago in 1996, the Cardinals jumped out to a 3-1 series lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, but John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and the Braves chopped their way back to steal the series.

After their 3-1 loss in that year's Game 6, the Cardinals were done. They barely showed up for Game 7, which they lost by a score of 15-0 after the Braves scored six times in the opening frame.

This year, it was a 6-1 loss that forced Game 7, and it wasn't Maddux who delivered the gem -- it was Ryan Vogelsong.

"They have a good team over there," Yadier Molina said, "a good lineup."

Vogelsong pitched Sunday as if he felt the opposite of the Cardinals. He took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and struck out six of nine his first time through the lineup en route to a career-high nine strikeouts. He has St. Louis' full attention.

"Sometimes pitching gets the better of you," Jon Jay said after an 0-for-4 night in the leadoff spot. "Vogelsong did a good job tonight. You have to turn the page."

"He was in complete control of what he wanted to do tonight," Matt Carpenter acknowledged.

"He worked his fastball on both sides of the plate," Pete Kozma said. "He had good breaking pitches. He did a good job tonight."

Yadier Molina's scouting report was similar: "He was moving the ball pretty good. He was sinking and moving it. It was the same (as Game 2)."

Molina's prognosis was on point.

Vogelsong completed seven innings, allowing one earned run on four hits, just as he did in the Giants' Game 2 victory at AT&T Park.

"It hurts," said Kozma, whose error contributed to the Giants' four-run second inning.

His double play partner -- who took a ground ball off the cheek later in the game -- turned the page toward the decisive Game 7.

"We've got to be ready for anything," Daniel Descalso said. "We've just got to play our game. We are not going to come out here and roll over."

The Cardinals have already survived two elimination games this year, ousting the Braves in the NL Wild Card game and eliminating the Nationals after trailing Game 5 of the NLDS 6-0 through three innings.

"Tomorrow is going to be a great game," Jay said. "They have their ace and we have our guy."

Matt Cain vs. Kyle Lohse for a berth in the 2012 MLB World Series at 5:07 p.m.

For the fifth time Sunday night, the Giants staved off elimination with a win, when a loss would have ended their season. But for the first time, they treated their hometown crowd to the show, as all four previous elimination wins came on the road.

It was the first time in MLB history a team won four consecutive elimination games on the road.

The Giants look to stave off elimination for a sixth time Monday night in Game 7.

History is on their side. Since 1975, 14 home teams have won a Game 6 to force Game 7 and all but one of those teams went on to win Game 7.

Channeling the '96 Braves for six first-inning runs wouldn't hurt.

Since the seven-game LCS format was introduced in 1985.

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

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USATSI

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

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AP

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”