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Giants strike first in Game 5 with 4-run 4th

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Blogger
Lance Lynn's errant throw hits second base. (AP)

ST. LOUIS -- Against all odds, the Giants' Barry Zito outlasted Cardinals starter Lance Lynn in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. And even more unlikely was that it was Zito who provided the knockout punch.

More playoff coverage
ALCS: Tigers vs. Yankees
NLCS: Cardinals vs. Giants

Zito's bunt single brought in a run, giving the Giants a 4-0 lead with two outs in the fourth inning, as Cardinals manager Mike Matheny brought in Joe Kelly to replace Lynn. Lynn lasted just 3 2/3 innings for the second time this series, also failing to finish the fourth in the Cardinals' Game 1 victory.

Although the Giants didn't have a hit in the first three innings of Friday's game, Lynn gave up back-to-back singles in the fourth but he appeared to get everything he wanted to get out of the inning. First the right-hander struck out Buster Posey, then he got Hunter Pence to hit a comebacker to the mound.

Lynn, who until that point had thrown more than twice as many strikes as balls, fielded the ball cleanly, turned and threw the ball off the second base bag, allowing Marco Scutaro to score and Pablo Sandoval to go to third.

After a walk to Gregor Blanco, Brandon Crawford singled up the middle to score two more. Zito followed that out with a bunt. David Freese had to field it on the run and his throw was off the bag.

All four runs in the inning were unearned.

The Cardinals had a chance to get to Zito in the second when Yadier Molina led off with a single and Freese doubled. But after Zito struck out Daniel Descalso for the first out, Bruce Bochy intentionally walked Pete Kozma, setting up a Lynn double play and ending the threat.

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