Error proves costly for Lynn, Cardinals
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Lance Lynn fielded the easy comebacker in the fourth inning and quickly turned to try to start a double play at second base.
Instead, his throw caromed off the bag and set the Giants on a path that would send the National League championship series back to San Francisco.
Lynn was dominant through three innings of Game 5 Friday night, but his throwing error was crucial in a four-run fourth as the Giants beat St. Louis 5-0 and pulled to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
"I threw the ball into center field when I could have got myself out of the inning," Lynn said. "It was definitely my fault."
The NLCS now moves back to San Francisco for Game 6 on Sunday. Game 2 starters, St. Louis' Chris Carpenter and the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong are scheduled to pitch.
Defending champion St. Louis is seeking a trip to consecutive World Series for the first time since 1967 and 1968.
The Giants, World Series winners in 2010, have never won a postseason series after falling behind 3-1. But they did win three games in a row — all on the road — to overcome a 2-0 deficit and beat Cincinnati in the NL divisional series. And they've taken back momentum in this series, disappointing a Busch Stadium-record crowd of 47,075 that was ready to celebrate what would be the team's 19th pennant.
Lynn's effort was a near mirror image of Game 1. Staked to a 6-0 lead in that game, he pitched well through three innings then gave up four runs and couldn't get out of the fourth, though the Cardinals held on for a 6-4 win.
This time, he hurt himself with his defense and the Cardinals were stifled by Barry Zito's assortment of mixed-speed pitches.
Lynn did not give up a hit until Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval each singled to start the fourth. Buster Posey struck out, then Hunter Pence hit a high chopper near the mound.
Lynn fielded it but rather than throw to first for the sure out he rushed a throw to second. Shortstop Pete Kozma was still running to cover the bag when Lynn's throw hit squarely on the base and bounced into center field, scoring Scutaro.
"I turned to throw it and I just threw it in the ground," Lynn said. "Just a bad play. You make a good throw there and we are out of the inning."
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