ST. LOUIS -- Marco Scutaro hung in there. Again.
The Giants second baseman returned for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, fighting through a hip and knee injury to go 2 for 5 with a double during a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
"I'm sure he was gutting it out," manager Bruce Bochy said. "That he played well tonight and got some big hits says a lot about his makeup and how tough he is."
Scutaro was bouncing back from Game 2, when Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday slid hard and late into him at second base while breaking up a double play.
Scutaro remained in that game, but his status for this one was in doubt. He not only played, he delivered the Giants' only extra-base hit of the game -- a double to right field off starter Kyle Lohse in the third.
"His knee was sore, but he's such a tough guy," Bochy said.
Scutaro was also at the center of another scrutinized defensive play. With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Shane Robinson hit a soft grounder to second.
Opting not to throw home, Scutaro instead got the out at first base while David Freese raced home to make it 3-1.
Scutaro said that Freese might have been safe even if he'd made a strong throw to the plate. He didn't want to risk leaving the door open for a Cardinals big inning.
Bochy said it was the right call.
"I don't think he had a play at home," he said. "You can't have a better or
In true Wilson form, he said a lot more, too. Wilson ducked his head into Bochy's session with the media and told his manager, "Activate me Friday. My first toss better be in a game."
The All-Star closer later told reporters to write that he will throw left-handed. "Spice it up," he said.
"I wanted to talk to him, but my mind right now is on the playoffs," he said. "After this, I might just talk to him and see how he's doing. I know he's OK."