Cardinals, Giants tied at 1 after 3 innings


Cardinals, Giants tied at 1 after 3 innings

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter hit a tying RBI double after yielding Angel Pagan's leadoff homer in the first, leaving St. Louis and the San Francisco Giants tied at 1 through three innings in Game 2 of the NL championship series Monday night.

The Cardinals lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.

Pagan pulled a 90 mph sinker from Carpenter over the arcade in right field to give San Francisco its first home lead of the playoffs and whip an orange towel-twirling crowd into a frenzy. Neither lasted long.

Carpenter's two-out hit off Ryan Vogelsong in the second scored Pete Kozma from first. The right-hander is 3 for 4 with two doubles this postseason.

The intensity of the championship series surfaced again in a matchup of the last two World Series winners.

Matt Holliday slid late and hard into the bag when he was forced out at second in the first inning, crashing into Marco Scutaro's left leg to prevent the double play on Allen Craig's grounder. Scutaro's throw to first was late, and he lay on the ground twisting in pain while trainer Dave Groeschner and manager Bruce Bochy ran out of the dugout to attend to the second baseman.

Giants fans showered Holliday with boos and again after he popped out in the third. Scutaro stayed in the game. With runners on first and third, Vogelsong got Yadier Molina to ground out to shortstop to end the threat.

The switch-hitting Pagan followed with his second leadoff home run of the postseason after doing the same in Game 4 of the division series at Cincinnati. The only other player to hit two leadoff home runs in a single postseason was Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins in 2008.

In the second, Kozma drew a two-out walk and Carpenter followed with the tying double to left-center.

Former Giants right fielder Carlos Beltran doubled leading off the third inning. Vogelsong stayed steady and got help on a backhanded grab in foul territory by first baseman Brandon Belt, who ran back and to his right while avoiding a fan's outstretched glove to get Molina for the third straight out.

The Giants went 48-33 at home in the regular season, tied for fifth-best in the NL. With the nightly sellouts and spacious dimensions that help the pitching staff, San Francisco's struggles at home in October have baffled Bochy.

After Sunday night's 6-4 loss to St. Louis, the Giants dropped to 0-3 at home so far during these playoffs and had been outscored 20-6 at AT&T Park. They swept the Reds at Cincinnati after dropping the first two in the division series, but will need to win at least one home game if they hope to return to the World Series for the second time in three years.

Game 3 is Wednesday night in St. Louis. Giants ace Matt Cain is scheduled to start against Kyle Lohse. Games 4 and 5, if necessary, will be in St. Louis before the series shifts back to San Francisco for the final two.


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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


The Capitals (43-24-7) take on the Canadiens (27-36-12) Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Montreal.


The Capitals-Canadiens game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. for postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals at Canadiens
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime


You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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