Scutaro stayed in the game with a limp until being replaced in the sixth by Theriot. By then, he had done his damage with the bat in the big fourth inning.
The rally started innocently enough with a bloop, opposite field double by Brandon Belt and a chopper over third baseman David Freese by Blanco. Crawford then hit a bouncer between the mound and first base that Carpenter fielded and threw away toward first base. It appeared Crawford may have impeded Carpenter by running inside the baseline but the Cardinals did not argue the play.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Scutaro lined his single to left-center that Holliday misplayed to the delight of Giants fans, putting Carpenter and the Cardinals into a 5-1 hole.
‘‘He’s a clutch hitter, he always has been, I know that since he’s been over here,’’ Carpenter said. ‘‘He’s not going to miss those opportunities.’’
Vogelsong made the lead hold up by becoming the first Giants starter to make it through six innings this postseason. He allowed four hits and one run for his first career postseason win.
These teams have a history of contentious meetings in the NLCS from Jeffrey Leonard’s one-flap down home run trot in 1987 that riled up the Cardinals to a benches-clearing dustup 10 years ago when St. Louis reliever Mike Crudale buzzed Kenny Lofton after he showboated on a home run.
San Francisco answered with the bats this time as Pagan led off the bottom of the first with a homer — matching his feat from Game 4 of the division series against Cincinnati. The Giants had been outscored 20-6 and never led in two home losses to the Reds and the Game 1 defeat to the Cardinals.
Pagan’s shot came soon after Scutaro was wiped out.
‘‘We felt for him,’’ Pagan said. ‘‘We felt a little bit of anger. I haven’t seen the replay, so I can’t judge if it was dirty or not. Any time you see a teammate fall down like that, you really feel for him.’’
The Cardinals tied it in the second inning when Pete Kozma drew a two-out walk and scored on Carpenter’s RBI double, his third hit already this postseason.
But Carpenter, making his fifth appearance in 2012 after complicated surgery to remove a rib and two neck muscles, wasn’t nearly as sharp on the mound or in the field. He allowed five runs — two earned — and six hits in four innings, failing to add to his 10 career postseason wins.
NOTES: Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins is the only other player with two leadoff homers in a single postseason, doing it in 2008. ... Cardinals OF Carlos Beltran reached base three times, doubling twice and walking once. ... Giants 3B coach Tim Flannery performed the national anthem with the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Phil Lesh. ... Vogelsong doubled in the sixth to become the first Giants pitcher to get a postseason extra-base hit since Jack Bentley homered in the 1924 World Series.