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Zito, Giants force NLCS back to the Bay

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Offense has a lot to do with San Francisco's streak of 13 consecutive victories when Barry Zito is on the mound, given they're averaging more than six runs.

In Game 5 of the NL championship series Friday night, with their season on the line, they didn't need all that production. Not with the pitcher they thought they signed a half-dozen years ago showing up in shutdown form.

Zito dominated into the eighth inning of a 5-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals that sent the best-of-seven series back to San Francisco. The Giants cut their series deficit to 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Sunday night, with Ryan Vogelsong set to face Chris Carpenter for the second time in the series.

"We needed that kind of performance from him because there is no tomorrow for us," second baseman Marco Scutaro said. "We just needed to get back home."

The defending-champion Cardinals still have two chances to make it to back-to-back World Series as a wild card.

"It should be another battle," St. Louis third baseman David Freese said. "San Francisco is a great city, but I wish we weren't going back."


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