Dodgers dejected after loss to Cardinals

Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:48am EDT
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(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Dodgers turned their season around with a remarkable summer surge but fell one step shy of the World Series after being eliminated by St. Louis in Game Six of the National League Championship Series on Friday.

The Dodgers halted their slide and reversed direction by winning 42 of 50 games from June 22, sparked by the arrival of talented young Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig, and went on to win the NL West with ease.

"It's disappointing for all of us," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly after Friday's 9-0 defeat that sealed a 4-2 Cardinals' triumph in the best-of-seven series.

"We put a lot of time in ... it's what you play for, to make that next step.

"I'm really proud of my club. I felt like they hung in all year long. These guys have a lot of fun but they do get down to business. They do love to play."

Injuries hampered the Dodgers, who were without slugging outfielder Matt Kemp while hard-hitting shortstop Hanley Ramirez struggled with a hairline fracture of a rib when he was hit by a pitch earlier in the series.

Despite the line-up issues, the Dodgers were still stung by the loss, which came with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound.

"You don't know how many times you are going to get an opportunity like this," said second baseman Mark Ellis.

"Going to spring training next year you'll feel like you have a good chance to win. But being here in this moment you feel like this was your opportunity."   Continued...

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) walks back to the dugout after being relieved during the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in game six of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports - RTX14GGY