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Cardinals vs. Giants, NLCS Game 3 recap: Matt Carpenter powers St. Louis to victory

The Cardinals survived a rain-delayed Game 3 despite being outhit by the Giants.

Elsa - Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Wednesday to take a 2-1 lead in the 2012 National League Championship Series.

Cardinals outfielder Matt Carpenter came off the bench to hit a two-run home run off of Giants starter Matt Cain in the bottom third inning to provide St. Louis with all the scoring it needed. Carpenter replaced Carlos Beltran, who left the game in the second inning with a left knee strain. Beltran's injury is "not serious," however, and he could be able to go in Game 4.

A 3½-hour rain delay paused the game in the bottom of the seventh inning right after Shane Robinson hit an RBI groundout to give the Cardinals the 3-1 lead. Cain pitched up until the rain delay, taking the loss in 6⅔ innings of work. Jason Motte pitched for a two-inning save on the Cardinals' side after the game resumed.

Despite some uncharacteristic control issues, Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse managed to make it into the sixth inning, allowing just one run on seven hits. He struck out two and walked five. Cain didn't surrender much aside from the blast, but was chased in the seventh inning after allowing David Freese, who doubled with one out, to score on Shane Robinson's groundout.

Freese was the only Cardinals player to get more than one hit in the game. He went 2-for-3. Meanwhile, Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford each had two hits for the Giants.

Game 4 will take place on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT. Adam Wainwright will take the mound for the Cardinals, and is presumed to be opposed by the Giants' Tim Lincecum.