for this game

Bumgarner, Giants win NLCS opener

Oct 12, 2014 - 5:45 AM St. Louis, MO ( - Madison Bumgarner is proving to be unbeatable on the road in the postseason.

Bumgarner struck out seven over 7 2/3 scoreless innings and made some history in the process, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.

When it was all said and done, Bumgarner (1-0) finished his outing with an MLB record of 26 2/3 scoreless innings in road playoff games. The southpaw also improved to 4-0 with a 0.59 ERA in four career playoff starts as a visitor.

"He was on top of his game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Bumgarner. "Really hitting his spots (and) using all of his pitches. He's so good at what he does. This kid, since he has come up here, he's just getting better too."

It's not just Bumgarner who performs well away from home, as San Francisco posted its seventh consecutive postseason win on the road.

Pablo Sandoval went 3-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, while Brandon Belt and Travis Ishikawa both knocked in a run for the Giants.

"(Sandoval) is a great player," said Bochy. "He's a guy that we lean on to give us some offense."

Adam Wainwright (0-1) continued to labor for the Cardinals, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings. Wainwright, who has reportedly dealt with elbow discomfort over the past couple of months, has allowed nine runs in nine innings this postseason.

"Today I was not great," Wainwright said. "The pitcher that pitched against us was. You have to tip your hat to Madison and those guys over there. My arm, like I said, doesn't feel great, but it certainly should be a lot better results wise than that."

Jake Peavy will take the hill for San Francisco on Sunday in Game 2, and St. Louis counters with Lance Lynn.

In a rematch of the 2012 NLCS that saw the Giants win in seven games, Bumgarner was dealing from the start and his offense got him just enough run support over the first three innings.

Sandoval led off the second frame with a drive to right, where Randal Grichuk leapt up and nearly made a dazzling catch. However, Grichuk slammed into the wall and the ball came loose once he hit the ground as Sandoval trotted into second with a double. Hunter Pence followed with a walk and Belt knocked a single into left to load the bases.

Brandon Crawford, who hit a grand slam in San Francisco's wild-card win over Pittsburgh, stepped in and struck out swinging for the first out. Ishikawa then blooped a single into left for a 1-0 lead. Wainwright looked to work out of the early mess with a lineout off the bat of Bumgarner, but Matt Carpenter booted a grounder from Gregor Blanco and Pence crossed home to make it 2-0.

San Francisco added on another run in the third thanks to another miscue from St. Louis. After back-to-back singles to start the inning, Kolten Wong was unable to turn a double play on a grounder right at second base. Jhonny Peralta made the force at second after the ball deflected off Wong, then Belt sent a sacrifice fly into center that plated Buster Posey for a 3-0 edge.

"They capitalized," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of the Giants. "We knew that going in that it was going to that kind of game. It is probably going to be that kind of series. You got two teams that figure out ways to score runs, to manufacture and capitalize on mistakes."

The Cardinals had their best scoring opportunity in the seventh, but a possible missed call from the umpires, coupled with Bumgarner's dominance, kept them off the board.

Yadier Molina and Jon Jay singled with one out in the inning. Both moved up a base on Wong's groundout before Bumgarner possibly got away with a balk. While pitching to Tony Cruz, who was making his first at-bat of the postseason, Bumgarner lifted his right leg just before he stepped off the mound with his left which would constitute a balk. No call was made on the play and Bumgarner proceeded to blow a fastball right by Cruz to end the frame.

"You know this time of year you're going to have to make pitches against anybody, especially against a team like the Cardinals," Bumgarner said.

Sergio Romo got the last out in the eighth and Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save.

Game Notes

Bumgarner passed former New York Giant Art Nehf, who had 23 scoreless innings on the road. Nehf set the record from Oct. 13, 1921-Oct. 4, 1924 ... San Francisco has won 12 of its last 13 playoff games overall ... Jay went 2-for-2 in the setback ... The Giants outhit St. Louis 8-4 ... San Francisco was 2- for-11 with runners in scoring position, while the Cardinals were 0-for-3 in such situations.