Cardinals strike first in NLCS Game 5 against Giants

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The Cardinals are one loss away from elimination, but they have grabbed an early lead in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Giants.

After tossing two scoreless innings, Madison Bumgarner issued a leadoff walk to Tony Cruz to begin the top of the third. Adam Wainwright bunted Cruz over to second base before Bumgarner walked Matt Carpenter. Jon Jay then hit a fly ball to left field which was misread by Travis Ishikawa for a double (that scoring is generous) and brought in the first run of the ballgame. Yes, Ishikawa’s inexperience in left field finally came back to bite the Giants. Bumgarner got Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta to fly out to avoid any further damage, but the Cardinals hold a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the third in San Francisco.

For what it’s worth, Adam Wainwright has looked sharper so far tonight than in his previous two outings this postseason. He has thrown 27 pitches over two scoreless frames.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.