The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the St Louis Cardinals 6-4 in Game 5 of the NLCS, cutting the Cardinals lead to 3-2 and sending the series back to St Louis.
The Dodgers led this one from the bottom of the third inning on, adding to their lead with solo home runs in the third, fifth, seventh, and eighth innings. But things got a little dicey in the ninth for Kenley Jansen, who allowed two runs to score and the go-ahead run to come to the plate. But Jansen struck out Adron Chambers, his third punch out of the ninth, to preserve the win and ensure the series continues on.
Los Angeles immediately jumped on top in the second, scoring a pair of runs off of Joe Kelly. Adrian Gonzalez led the inning off with a double and after an Andre Ethier fly out, advanced to second on a Yasiel Puig single. Juan Uribe singled in Gonzalez to make it 1-0, and after Puig advanced to third on a foul out, Zack Greinke helped his own cause by driving in the outfielder to make it 2-0.
The Cardinals didn't take that lying down, though. After Kelly grounded out to lead off the inning, Matt Carpenter singled and scored on a triple by Carlos Beltran. Beltran then came home on a double by Matt Holliday to tie the game. After Matt Adams reached on an infield single, Greinke got out of the frame by getting a 1-4-3 double play from Yadier Molina. St Louis' next 15 hitters were set down in order by Greinke and Brian Wilson.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers kept tacking on. They pulled back ahead in the third after a solo homer by Gonzalez. They brought their lead back up to two after a fifth inning homer by Carl Crawford. It turned into a 5-2 game in the seventh after AJ Ellis homered. In the eighth, it was Gonzalez's turn again, as he hit his second homer of the night to make it 6-2.
In the ninth, the Cardinals threatened once again. Holliday led off with another double and scored on a single by Adams to make it 6-3. After sandwiching a pair of strikeouts around a single by Jon Jay, Jansen allowed an RBI single to Pete Kozma to bring in Adams and make it 6-4 before striking out Chambers to end the game.
Greinke was the story in this one. After a rough start, he settled into a nice groove late in the game. Once the third inning ending, Greinke set down the final 12 Cardinals hitters he faced, getting seven groundouts and two strikeouts in the process. He weathered an early storm, and once that storm passed, he was flawless.
Meanwhile, Joe Kelly wasn't good for the Cardinals. Only two of his innings – the first and fourth – were scoreless. Kelly allowed solo homers in the third and fifth, and got into a huge mess in the second. After just 82 pitches and 11 first pitch strikes to 21 hitters, Kelly's evening was done. The Cardinals bullpen did what the Cardinals bullpen does, but the solo homers allowed by Edward Mujica and John Axford ended up being the difference after the late rally by the Cardinals offense.
Adrian Gonzalez continued his absurd Postseason for the Dodgers at the plate, going 3/4 with three runs, two RBI, a double, and two homers. In these playoffs, Gonzalez is hitting .343/.395/.657 with three homers and has done a solid job and pacing the Dodgers offense in the NLCS with Hanley Ramirez banged up. As for the Cardinals, their tremendous luck with runners in scoring position once again reared its head, as the team went 5/10 in today's game. Yet, just three of those hits scored runs for the Cardinals, and they only tallied three extra base hits on the game.
The NLCS will continue on Friday in St Louis at 8 PM on TBS. The Cardinals will look to win the pennant once again, sending rookie Michael Wacha to the hill. The Dodgers will counter with the likely NL Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw.