Carpenter lifts Cardinals over Giants

MATT CARPENTER made the most of his unexpected start, drilling a two-run homer in a 3-1 St. Louis Cardinals’ victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Carpenter subbed for the injured Carlos Beltran. His shot chased Giants’ pitcher Matt Cain before a 3 1/2-hour rain delay in the seventh inning and handed the Cardinals a 2-1 lead in the National League Championship Series.

”It was definitely a surprise,” Carpenter said. ”I didn’t even realize Carlos had hurt himself, there was really no thought process.

Beltran strained his left knee running out a double-play ball in the first inning and the Cardinals said he was day to day. He’s had issues off and on with the knee throughout the season, but played in 151 games and had 619 at-bats, his most since 2008.

Kyle Lohse worked around a season-worst five walks in 5 2-3 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 that stuck around for a game that lasted 3 hours, 2 minutes, about a half-hour shorter than the delay. Noli Cruz

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