Dodgers beat Cards to keep World Series hopes alive

Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:22pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pitcher Zach Greinke survived a shaky start before dominating and Adrian Gonzalez powered two homers as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the St Louis Cardinals 6-4 on Wednesday to stave off playoff elimination.

With their backs to the wall going into a must-win Game Five at Dodger Stadium, the home team's offense sizzled in bright afternoon sunshine as they trimmed the Cardinals' lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series.

Left-hander Gonzalez set the tone with his first home run in the bottom of the third before adding a second in the eighth, while Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis also weighed in with huge blasts to keep St. Louis under continual pressure.

Former Cy Young winner Greinke initially struggled on the mound but dug his way out of a jam in the top of the first with bases loaded and no outs, striking out Matt Adams and getting Yadier Molina to ground into an inning-ending double-play.

Game Six is in St. Louis on Friday when the Cardinals, who won the most recent of their 11 World Series titles in 2011, will have to contend with ace Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Frank Pingue)

October 16, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) reacts after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in game five of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports