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Scutaro single sparks San Francisco win

The St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of their MLB NLCS playoff baseball series in San Franci
The St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of their MLB NLCS playoff baseball series in San Franci

(Reuters) - Marco Scutaro's fourth-inning single spurred the San Francisco Giants to a 7-1 victory over the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Monday to tie the National League Championship Series at one game all.

Scutaro survived a heavy collision with a hard-sliding Matt Holliday in the first inning, which would eventually force him out of the game, but his fourth-inning single brought home three runs to put the Giants ahead 5-1.

Scutaro, who finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and was replaced by Ryan Theriot in the top of the sixth, was to have an MRI after the game to determine the extent of his left hip injury.

"(Holliday) hurt Scutaro a little bit but we're coming back to play hard," Giants outfielder Angel Pagan told reporters. "I haven't seen the video, I'm not sure if it was dirty or not, I'm sure (Holliday) was playing the game as hard as he could."

The victory was the Giants' first home win in this season's playoffs after they lost two at AT&T Park to open the division series with the Reds before coming back to win three in a row in Cincinnati.

The series continues with Game Three in St. Louis on Wednesday.

After defending World Series champions St. Louis won the series opener on Sunday, the Giants rediscovered their offense to get the better of standout starter Chris Carpenter.

Carpenter, who entered the night with a stellar 10-2 post-season record, allowed five runs in four innings, though only two were earned, and was outpitched by playoff newcomer Ryan Vogelsong.

Vogelsong surrendered an RBI double to Carpenter in the second but was otherwise solid over seven innings. He made his post-season debut last week when he pitched against the Reds in Game Three with his team facing elimination.

"Not as much (pressure tonight) as I (felt) going into Cincinnati being down 0-2," Vogelsong said. "I had a little more breathing room. It feels better to get one here and go (to St. Louis) at 1-1."

Pagan led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run for the Giants but they did not break the game open until the fourth where the game was tied 1-1.

A couple of infield bloopers proved trouble for the Cardinals as Carpenter made a throwing error that allowed a run to score and made it 2-1.

Scutaro's single initially scored two runs before it was mishandled by Holliday in the outfield allowing the third run to cross the plate.

Holliday was booed by the visiting crowd all evening following his slide into Scutaro.

The Giants, World Series champions in 2020, added a pair of runs in the top of the ninth before reliever Sergio Romo came into the game and had no problem finishing off St. Louis in the bottom of the inning.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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