MLB Playoffs: Wong's walk-off homer knots Cards-Giants series

ST. LOUIS -- On a night when they could have lost their perennial All-Star catcher, the St. Louis Cardinals rallied to tie the National League Championship Series.

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St. Louis' Kolten Wong celebrates after hitting the walk-off solo home run against the San Francisco Giants in the 9th inning of Game 2 of the NLCS at Busch Stadium Sunday in St. Louis. USA TODAY Sports.

ST. LOUIS -- On a night when they could have lost their perennial All-Star catcher, the St. Louis Cardinals rallied to tie the National League Championship Series.
Second baseman Kolten Wong led off the bottom of the ninth Sunday with St. Louis’ fourth solo homer of the game, and the Cardinals edged the San Francisco Giants 5-4 at sold-out Busch Stadium, evening the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.
After taking the first pitch, Wong lined a changeup from reliever Sergio Romo 362 feet into the seats in right field, firing both arms in the air as he rounded first base. It was his second postseason homer and the team’s 11th in six games.
The Giants evened the score with two outs in the top of the ninth when pinch runner Matt Duffy scored from second as closer Trevor Rosenthal threw a wild pitch on ball four to second baseman Joe Panik.
Cardinals reliever Seth Maness, who replaced Rosenthal and retired third baseman Pablo Sandoval on a comebacker with the bases loaded, picked up the win.
First baseman Matt Adams ripped a 1-2 fastball from reliever Hunter Strickland 390 feet into the seats in right field for the Cardinals’ third solo homer of the game, giving St. Louis a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning.
Pinch hitter Oscar Taveras tied the game in the seventh by lining a homer just inside the right field foul pole off reliever Jean Machi.
That happened an inning after catcher Yadier Molina departed with a strained left oblique as he rapped into a 4-6-3 double play. Molina’s status for Game 3 on Tuesday in San Francisco wasn’t immediately known.
The Giants grabbed a 3-2 lead in the seventh when center fielder Gregor Blanco grounded a single to right, scoring shortstop Brandon Crawford.
San Francisco tied it against starter Lance Lynn in the sixth on a two-out RBI single by center fielder Hunter Pence that plated Sandoval.
Lynn pitched 5 2/3 innings, yielding six hits and two runs with a walk and three strikeouts.
St. Louis opened the scoring in the bottom of the third when third baseman Matt Carpenter lofted a one-out solo homer into the Cardinals’ bullpen in right-center. It was his fourth homer of the postseason.

Rookie right fielder Randal Grichuk made it 2-0 in the fourth with a one-out RBI single to left that scored Adams. However, San Francisco starter Jake Peavy left the bases loaded, getting flyouts from Lynn and Carpenter.

Pinch hitter Joaquin Arias got the Giants on the board in the fifth with a run-scoring groundout that drove home first baseman Brandon Belt.

Peavy worked four innings, giving up four hits and two runs while walking three and fanning two. The veteran right-hander threw just 40 of his 76 pitches for strikes.

NOTES: San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said during his pregame press conference Sunday that RHP Tim Hudson would start Game 3 on Tuesday at AT&T Park. RHP John Lackey will get the call for St. Louis. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina’s second-inning single was his 89th career postseason hit, pushing Molina past Albert Pujols for the franchise record. ... Saturday night’s 3-0 win was the Giants’ seventh consecutive postseason road victory, dating back to Game 4 of the 2012 NLCS in St. Louis, when they lost to Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright.

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