Dodgers beat Cards, keep playoff hopes alive

Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:20pm 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.

"That was big," Greinke told reporters. "I was real nervous out there with that situation and trying to make a good pitch and get Adams to chase and get him into a double-play.

"And then Molina, I know if you hit on the ground there is a good chance it's either going to be a hit or a double-play. Risky going in, bases loaded, because he could do some damage.

"He can adjust to anything and I kind of got lucky, I guess. I made a good pitch but still even with a good pitch he can hurt you. It just worked out."

After enduring two rough innings to start, Greinke reverted to his usual dominance, allowing just two runs and six hits while striking out four and walking one in seven innings pitched.   Continued...

 
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