SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey and the Giants already know how to win in October — even without all this help from the St. Louis Cardinals.
Even without home runs, or even hits. Posey drove in three runs and San Francisco took advantage of some clunky defence by first baseman Matt Adams, beating the Cardinals 6-4 on Wednesday night to move within one victory of the World Series.
Chasing their third title in five years, the Giants lead the best-of-seven NL Championship Series 3-1 after poor throws cost the Cardinals yet again.
October ace Madison Bumgarner can pitch San Francisco to another pennant Thursday at home in Game 5. Struggling All-Star Adam Wainwright starts for St. Louis, now facing the same daunting deficit the Giants overcame to beat the Cardinals in the 2012 NLCS.
Kansas City awaits the winner after completing its ALCS sweep of Baltimore earlier in the day. The wild-card Royals will host Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night.
San Francisco climbed out of an early three-run hole, and back-to-back bad throws by Adams in the sixth inning helped the Giants rally — one night after a wild toss by St. Louis reliever Randy Choate allowed the winning run to score in the 10th inning.
“I think any time you can put pressure on the defence, you’ve got the opportunity for good things to happen,” Posey said. “We’re able to come up with some big two-out RBIs to get back in the game.”
Minus injured catcher Yadier Molina again, the Cardinals were clinging to a 4-3 lead when San Francisco put runners at second and third in the sixth. Playing in with one out, the lumbering Adams backhanded Gregor Blanco’s bouncer and stumbled as he tried to set himself to throw home.
Adams had trouble with the transfer, and his toss short-hopped catcher Tony Cruz as Juan Perez slid across with the tying run.
Joe Panik then hit a grounder right to Adams, who stepped on first base before firing wildly to second in trying for a double play. Brandon Crawford stopped about halfway between third and home, yet was able to score easily when Adams threw wide of the bag.
Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta came way off the base to catch the ball, but had no play at the plate.
“The play at home, there’s a fast runner at third and I was going in on the ball and threw on the run,” Adams said. “Just should’ve made the throw, though. The second one, I should’ve just touched first and checked home.”