Matt Carpenter hit a two-run homer after subbing for an injured Carlos Beltran and the St. Louis Cardinals chased Matt Cain before a 3½ -hour rain delay in the seventh inning of a 3-1 victory over the visiting San Francisco Giants Wednesday night.
The Cardinals took a a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series with Game 4 set for Thursday night in St. Louis.
Kyle Lohse worked around a season-worst five walks in 52⁄3 innings. Mitchell Boggs struck out Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt with two on to end the seventh.
Jason Motte earned the first two-inning save of his career to reward what remained of a sellout crowd of 45,850, perhaps a third.
Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro had two hits and a clean game in the field, two days after Matt Holliday rammed him breaking up a double-play ball. Giants Manager Bruce Bochy had said there would be no retaliation, and Game 3 was free of collisions.
The big winners were the beer vendors. Alcohol sales are cut off after the seventh inning in all stadiums, but the game was delayed one out before that.
Cain lost for the second time this postseason, giving up three runs on five hits in 61⁄3 innings. The Giants, who entered the game batting just .217 in the postseason, were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
The Cardinals snapped the Giants' five-game road winning streak in the postseason, three of them this year.
Carlos Beltran limped to the trainer's room, taking the Cardinals' biggest clutch October bat with him. Beltran strained his left knee running out a double-play ball in the first and the Cardinals said he was day to day.
Turns out they had the perfect substitute.
Carpenter followed Jon Jay's two-out single with a homer off Cain in his first at-bat of the NLCS.
AL game postponed
Game 4 of the AL championship series between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees was postponed by bad weather in the area — although Comerica Park itself was still dry when the game was called.
Wednesday night's game was rescheduled for Thursday at 4:07 p.m., when Game 5 was originally slated to be played. Detroit leads the best-of-seven series 3-0.
The first pitch had been scheduled for 8:07 p.m., but shortly before then the crowd was informed of the delay. A radar forecast for the Detroit area was eventually posted on the scoreboard video screen, as if to explain to fans why there was no baseball despite what was still rather pleasant weather at the ballpark.
The postponement was announced after a delay of about 1 hour, 10 minutes.
New York's lineup for the game did not include Alex Rodriguez or center fielder Curtis Granderson, both benched because they weren't hitting.
Manager Joe Girardi has juggled his lineup throughout the postseason, trying to find the right combination.
Rodriguez, who is 3-for-23 in these playoffs, is out of the starting lineup for the third time. The star third baseman also been removed for a pinch-hitter three times in New York's nine postseason games.
Granderson joins A-Rod on the bench after another hitless night Tuesday dropped him to 3-for-29 in the postseason. Granderson hit 43 homers with 106 RBI this season.
Rodriguez has looked particularly overmatched against right-handers, going 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts in the postseason. Detroit's entire playoff rotation is right-handed, including Game 4 starter Max Scherzer.
Jeter to have surgery
Derek Jeter will have surgery on his broken left ankle, and the Yankees say the star shortstop could need four to five months to completely recover.
The Yankees said Wednesday that Jeter will be operated on Saturday by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C. The timetable the team announced means Jeter likely would be ready to return sometime between the start of spring training in mid-February and late spring training in mid-March.
General manager Brian Cashman called that a conservative estimate and left open the possibility that Jeter could come back sooner. Jeter had scans Sunday, which confirmed the fracture, and he saw Anderson on Tuesday.
"Jeter, the Yankees' 38-year-old captain, broke his ankle Saturday in the 12th inning of the AL championship series opener against Detroit while trying to field a ground ball.