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Cardinals vs. Giants: St. Louis takes Game 1 6-4 on David Freese home run

The St. Louis Cardinals nearly lost their own 6-0 lead in Game 1 of the NLCS, but while the San Francisco Giants managed to make up for Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma, and Carlos Beltran, David Freese and his two-run homer was one postseason hero too many; they lost by a final score of 6-4. Edward Mujica picked up the win for St. Louis, whose bullpen managed to hold the Giants scoreless after they got to Lance Lynn for four runs in the fourth inning.

The Cardinals' own 6-0 lead lasted just two outs before the Giants went after it. Beltran's big home run, seemingly a knockout blow, turned out to be the deciding margin when Brandon Belt, Gregor Blanco, and Brandon Crawford combined to drive in four two-out runs against the Cardinals' 18-game winner.

The road win is important for the Cardinals, who were forced to start Lance Lynn after Jaime Garcia's shoulder problems pushed him out of the postseason rotation. On Monday night at AT&T Park the Cardinals will send out Chris Carpenter, making his fifth start of the 2012 season, to face Ryan Vogelsong, one of the most unlikely postseason starters this side of Chris Carpenter. (You may remember him from 2004, when he was one of the worst pitchers on the Pirates; now he's 27-16 with an ERA of 3.05 over the last two years.)