Matt Carpenter smacked a two-run home run to move reigning World Series champion St. Louis closer to retaining their title with a 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.
St. Louis took a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series with games four and five in St. Louis on tonight and tomorrow.
San Francisco opened the scoring in the third inning when Angel Pagan singled, took third on a double by Marco Scutaro and raced home on a ground out to the shortstop by Pablo Sandoval.
But the Cardinals took the lead at 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning on Carpenter's two-out blast over the right-field wall off a pitch from Giants starter Matt Cain.
Carpenter improved to 5-for-5 at the plate against Cain.
"He's a good pitcher. I just go up there and try to find a good pitch to hit," Carpenter said. "Today was a dream come true."
Carpenter entered the game to replace St. Louis slugger Carlos Beltran, who suffered a left knee strain running the bases.
The Cardinals stretched the lead to 3-1 in the seventh inning when David Freese raced home from third on a bases-loaded ground out by Shane Robinson.
Just after that, heavy rain began and halted the game for almost 3 1/2 hours, the afternoon game resuming after 10pm local time.
The delay didn't help the visiting Giants, who went down in order in the eighth and ninth innings.
Meanwhile game four of the series between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees was postponed because of bad weather on Wednesday night - although Comerica Park was still dry when the game was called off.
The first pitch was scheduled for 8:07pm local time, but shortly before then the crowd were informed of a delay.
A radar forecast for the Detroit area was then posted on the scoreboard, as if to explain to fans why there was no baseball despite dry conditions at the time.
The postponement was announced after a delay of around 70 minutes, while rain eventually started falling a further 15 minutes later.
Game four will now take place on later this afternoon. Detroit leads the best-of-seven series 3-0.
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