Published October 23, 2012
| Sports Network
San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Giants finally won their first winner-take-all Game 7 to capture the National League pennant and advance to the 108th edition of the World Series.
The convincing 9-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals completed another series comeback and sealed the Giants' second trip to the Fall Classic in three years, where they will face the AL champion Detroit Tigers.
The 2010 World Series champs became the seventh team to win a best-of-seven League Championship Series after trailing 3-1, and also joined the 1985 Royals as the only teams to win six elimination games during one postseason.
San Francisco was also 0-5 in winner-take-all Game 7s coming in.
Giants ace Matt Cain (2-2) scattered five hits and one walk over 5 2/3 scoreless innings and even drove in a run, while fellow 16-game winner Kyle Lohse was chased in the third frame.
Hunter Pence drove in a pair with a fortunate broken-bat double during a five- run third inning, and fellow midseason acquisition Marco Scutaro capped his MVP performance with his sixth multi-hit game of the series.
Scutaro, after going 3-for-4, batted .500 (14-for-28) with six runs scored and four RBI despite suffering a strained left hip when Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday took out the second baseman with a vicious slide in Game 2.
"We played with more heart and more determination than any club I've seen," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said during the trophy presentation. "They didn't want to go home."
Lohse (2-1) was charged with five runs on six hits, and the usually- opportunistic Cardinals went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 baserunners.
The Cardinals, the NL's second wild card team, had won seven straight playoff games when facing elimination, including a Game 7 win over the Texas Rangers to win their 11th World Series title last year and a Game 5 thriller over the Washington Nationals earlier this month after they trailed by six runs.
But Monday's deficit proved too much, as the Giants managed 14 hits throughout their lineup to win going away.
"It wasn't how we scripted to finish, but it was certainly a great run," said first-year Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose club was outscored, 20-1, in the final three games. "They got hot, and we didn't,"
Lohse worked out of trouble to get the better of Cain in Game 3, but the right-hander couldn't duplicate his performance in the clincher.
Angel Pagan opened the home first with a single, moved to third on a textbook hit-and-run base hit by Scutaro and scored on Pablo Sandoval's RBI groundout.
Cain stranded a runner in scoring position in the first inning, then left two on in the second by striking out Pete Kozma and retiring Lohse, whose soft liner to short was grabbed by a leaping Brandon Crawford.
With two outs and Gregor Blanco on second in the bottom half, Cain did what his counterpart couldn't -- drive in a run with a base hit up the middle.
A five-spot in the third gave the NL West champs a comfortable cushion.
Scutaro started the onslaught with a single, Sandoval doubled down the left- field line and Buster Posey worked a walk to end Lohse's outing.
Joe Kelly came in from the bullpen and broke Pence's bat with a fastball, but after the ball caromed off the handle, it was redirected at the barrel and fooled Kozma on it's way up the middle. Scutaro and Sandoval scored on the hit, and Posey came around when Jon Jay bobbled the ball in center field.
A single by Brandon Belt and a walk loaded the bags again, and Pence beat Kozma's throw home after Crawford grounded to short. A run-scoring fielder's choice off the bat of Pagan made it 7-0.
Cain was pulled after 102 pitches with two on and two outs in the sixth, and Jeremy Affeldt retired Daniel Descalso to keep the Cardinals off the board.
Blanco scored the eighth run on pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff's double-play ball in the seventh inning, and Belt crushed a solo homer over the right-field wall in the eighth.
The bullpen finished off San Francisco's second shutout of the series.
Affeldt, Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez combined for nine outs behind Cain, and with heavy rain coming down with two outs in the ninth inning, Sergio Romo got Holliday to pop out, appropriately, to Scutaro to end things.
"I've spent a lot of years in the big leagues and never had the opportunity to play in the World Series. ... It's unbelievable," said Scutaro.
Scutaro and the Giants have one day to celebrate before hosting Game 1 on Wednesday. The Tigers completed their ALCS sweep of the New York Yankees last Thursday.
This was San Francisco's first deciding home playoff game since October 16, 1962, when it hosted the Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series and lost, 1-0 ... The Giants will be playing in their fifth World Series since moving to San Francisco in 1958 ... Cain won San Francisco's deciding Game 5 in the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds, who had won the first two games before losing the next three. He was also the starting and winning pitcher for the NL in its All-Star Game win, which gave the Senior Circuit home-field advantage in the World Series ... St. Louis fell to 11-5 in Game 7s ... The Cardinals had won six straight winner- take-all games in the playoffs ... The 1975-76 Reds are still the last NL team to repeat as World Series champions ... St. Louis had won the previous Game 7 in the NLCS, beating the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in 2006 ... Holliday went 1-for-4 after missing Game 6 with back tightness ... Lohse led the majors with an .842 winning percentage. He had pitched at least five innings in all 36 starts this season, including three postseason outings ... This was the first matchup between the two previous World Series winners since the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Braves dueled in the 1958 Fall Classic.