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Giants-Phillies NLCS Game 3: Giants Throw Combined Shutout, Take 2-1 Series Lead

The San Francisco Giants won Game 3 over the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0 on the back of a strong pitching performance from Matt Cain. The Giants received some timely hitting and did just enough on offense to put this game away. While this victory guarantees nothing more than a Giants a 2-1 series lead, the winner of game three in a 1-1 series has gone on to win the series in 15 of the last 16 playoff series. So the Giants have that going for them.

Matt Cain put together a phenomenal performance pitching seven innings of shutout ball, giving up only two hits and three walks on 119 pitches. He had to battle in several innings due to the walks, but he was able to get out of each jam. The Giants bullpen was dominant in the eighth and ninth innings thanks to Javier Lopez and Brian Wilson. Lopez came on to retire the side in the eighth inning, while Wilson worked around a one-out single thanks to a game-ending double play.

The Giants offense didn't blow anybody away, but once they started getting base runners they did enough to secure the win. The scoring started off, appropriately enough, with a Cody Ross RBI single in the fourth. After Edgar Renteria led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, Ross came on with two outs and drove in Renteria. Pat Burrell, who had walked before Ross, advanced to third on the hit and was subsequently driven in by Aubrey Huff with a liner just off the glove of second baseman Chase Utley.

In the fifth inning, the Giants received a lead-off double from much maligned center fielder Aaron Rowand. After Cain and Renteria were retired, Freddy Sanchez hit a hard shot at Utley who was unable to make a play. Initially it was ruled an error, but the official scorer changed it to a single. Rowand scored and the Giants were in the driver's seat up 3-0. The Phillies could not take advantage of Cain's walks and went down relatively quietly.

The Giants now lead the series 2-1 and the teams return tomorrow night for Game 4, featuring a battle of fourth starters: Madison Bumgarner vs. Joe Blanton.