(ST. LOUIS) — The St. Louis Cardinals received help from an unlikely source. Utilityman Matt Carpenter, who came into the game in the second inning for injured star Carlos Beltran, hit a two-run home run which ended up being the difference maker in the Cardinals 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series. The win gives the Cardinals a 2-1 series advantage.
Beltran left the game in the top of the second inning, after he strained his left knee while running out a double-play ball in the first inning. Then in the third inning, during his first at-bat, Carpenter launched a two-run bomb giving the Cardinals the lead for good.
“To come in…and have some success…and help our team win games is a lot of fun,” Carpenter said. “That’s why I’m here. I’m trying to do my part.”
The game was delayed in the seventh inning with the Cardinals leading 3-1, due to rain.
Cardinals closer Jason Motte pitched two scoreless innings to finish out the game and record the save, his first two-inning save of his career.
Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, in St. Louis.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN