Sports

October 23, 2012

Giants rout Cardinals to win NLCS

SAN FRANCISCO — After all the Giants had overcome to get back to the World Series, a late shower wasn't about to dampen their celebration.

All right, it was a driving downpour.

So reliever Sergio Romo danced through the raindrops, Tim Lincecum helped lead a soaked victory lap around the ballpark and Angel Pagan stayed on the field with his daughter long after his teammates took the party indoors.

Hunter Pence got the Giants going with a weird double, Matt Cain pitched his second clincher of October and San Francisco closed out Game 7 of the NL championship series in a rainstorm, routing the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 on Monday night.

"The rain never felt so good," series MVP Marco Scutaro said. "We're going to the World Series, this is unbelievable."

San Francisco won its record-tying sixth elimination game of the postseason, completing a lopsided rally from a 3-1 deficit.

The Giants, who won it all in 2010, will host reigning AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, Triple Crown slugger Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 on Wednesday night.

Verlander is set to pitch Wednesday's opener at AT&T Park. Giants manager Bruce Bochy insisted before Monday's game he had not planned any further in advance.

Scutaro produced his sixth multihit game of the series and matched an LCS record with 14 hits and Pablo Sandoval drove in a run for his fifth straight game.

"These guys never quit," Bochy said. "They just kept believing and they got it done."

After falling behind 3-1 in the series at Busch Stadium, the Giants outscored the wild-card Cardinals 20-1 over the final three games behind stellar starting pitching from Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Cain.

They also benefited from some strange bounces.

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