Giants turn tables on teetering Cardinals

Press Conference Audio: Giants Manager Bruce Bochy

AT&T PARK — Ryan Vogelsong no-hit the Cardinals through 4-1/3 innings, and the Giants gave him an early lead as the Sunday night crowd at AT&T Park — possibly the loudest in the ballpark’s history — got something amazing to cheer for.

Down three games to two and — once again — facing vacation, the Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 to force a Game 7 in the National League Championship Series.

This time, the Giants didn’t wait until the fourth inning to score all their runs.

Marco Scutaro walked in the first inning, and Pablo Sandoval hit a double over the head of Jon Jay in centerfield. With runners at second and third, Buster Posey got his first RBI of this LCS on a ground ball to third baseman David Freese, who couldn’t get the ball out of his glove fast enough to get Scutaro at home.

Just like that, the Giants had a 1-0 lead. This would’ve been good enough for Ryan Vogelsong, but the Giants offense wasn’t done for the night.

Brandon Belt tripled to lead off the bottom of the second. After an intentional walk to Brandon Crawford, Vogelsong helped his own cause. After showing bunt, Vogelsong swung away, hitting a ground ball that bounced off Pete Kozma’s glove at shortstop, allowing Belt to score.

Scutaro would double home both Crawford and Vogelsong, and Sandoval would get his team-leading eighth RBI of this postseason to bring home Scutaro.

Clubhouse Audio: Giants Outfielder Hunter Pence

The Giants would add a late insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning on an RBI single by pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot.

Vogelsong once again dominated the St. Louis line-up, feeding off of the electric crowd. After giving up his first hit in the fifth inning, the 43,070 fans stood to their feet and resumed the chants of “Vogey! Vogey!” that had resounded throughout the stadium before the game.

Press Conference Audio: Giants Pitcher Ryan Vogelsong

With two outs in the sixth, Carlos Beltran would double, and Allen Craig would single him home, giving the Cardinals their only run of the night. In the seventh inning, Vogelsong would strike out Daniel Descalso for his ninth strikeout, a new career-high.

Vogelsong has now gone seven innings in each of his starts in this championship series. He’s 2-0 in this postseason with 18 strikeouts in 19 innings. San Francisco’s starting and relief pitching has combined to allow just one run in the last two games.

These 2012 Giants are now 5-0 in games where they are facing elimination. Before tonight’s game, manager Bruce Bochy talked about this team’s mentality:

 “Well, I think more than anything it says a lot about the character of the club and that ‘never say die’ attitude, and you know what’s at stake…It’s about going out there and playing like there’s no tomorrow. And that’s how they play. That’s the only way you can play, because that’s where we’re at right now.”

In an electric AT&T Park Sunday night, the Giants not only staved off elimination, they tied this LCS at three games apiece with momentum squarely in their favor.

Monday evening at 5:07 p.m., both teams face elimination in Game 7, and the Giants hope to complete their improbable comeback and claim what they’ve been fighting for – a trip to the 2012 World Series.

Clubhouse Audio: Giants Outfielder Angel Pagan