Dodgers

NLDS Game 3, Live: Dodgers Win 5-1, Advance to NLCS

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Game 2 Full Recap: Dodgers Win Thanks to Holliday Error, Go Up 2-0 In L.A.

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Matt Holliday's two-base error with two outs in the ninth completely flipped an Adam Wainwright gem into a huge National League Division Series hole, as Los Angeles rallied for two runs after the error to down St. Louis, 3-2, in Game 2 at Dodger Stadium.

"I couldn't see the ball," said Holliday. "I lost it in the lights. You come in for the ball, get a good read on it, but at the last minute I lost it in the lights. It hit my body, hit my glove, unfortunate timing. It wasn't because of lack of effort. I just couldn't see the ball."

Mark Loretta, 0-for-15 lifetime versus Ryan Franklin (0-1), looped a pinch-hit, game-winning single into no-man's land in left-center field, scoring Casey Blake with the winning run. The Dodgers had nobody on base before Holliday's miscue.

"The series is far from over," said Loretta. "We are going to have to battle to get another win."

St. Louis got a vintage performance from one of its two stoppers, as Wainwright didn't give up a hit until Andre Ethier's homer in the fourth and dominated through the eighth. He left with a 2-1 edge because of Holliday's second-inning solo homer and Colby Rasmus' RBI double in the seventh.

It was all for naught.

James Loney sliced an apparent game-ending sinking liner to a hard-charging Holliday in left, but the ball caromed off his chest for a two-base error. Blake then walked and Ronnie Belliard's single to center plated pinch-runner Juan Pierre. The runners advanced on a passed ball and Russell Martin then walked before Loretta punched a pitch off the knob into left-center for the game-winner.

"I can't remember any of them (being as crazy as this ending)," said Martin. "It was so awesome when I saw the ball in the air. I thought I was floating around the bases. It was an incredible game, just awesome."

The Dodgers now lead the best-of-five series, 2-0, with Game 3 scheduled for Saturday night in St. Louis. George Sherrill (1-0) hurled a scoreless top of the ninth to pick up the victory.

The Cardinals lost back-to-back starts from Chris Carpenter and Wainwright for just the second time this season.

"Tough one to swallow," said Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan. "I'm at a loss for words."

After hitting around Cardinals ace Carpenter on Wednesday, the Dodgers didn't have nearly the success against Wainwright, who cruised through minimal difficulty until the eighth. He sawed off Matt Kemp on a grounder to first to escape a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, capping a three-hit, one-walk outing with seven strikeouts.

Clayton Kershaw was again the recipient of little run support, giving up just two runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and one walk over 6 2/3 frames. The southpaw had an ERA under 3.00, but just a .500 record during the regular season, and the trend continued. The Dodgers scored just 1.54 runs per game in his last 11 outings then managed just Ethier's solo shot versus Wainwright before the ninth-inning rally.

St. Louis scored first as Holliday made his presence felt with a solo shot in the second. Holliday drilled a curveball quickly out of the park to left.

The Dodgers failed to muster any early offense before tying the contest in the fourth. Ethier looked at one fastball for a strike then jumped on the second, clubbing a home run to dead center field and breaking up Wainwright's no-hit bid.

In a game of few hits and even fewer offensive threats, St. Louis finally pushed across a run in the seventh. Mark DeRosa singled to center then Rasmus drove a shot over the head of Kemp in center. DeRosa came around to score, as Rasmus was thrown out in a rundown between second and third.

Trever Miller retired Ethier to start the ninth then Franklin induced a Manny Ramirez flyout before Holliday's mistake opened the door.

The Dodgers pitchers walked just one batter...St. Louis won five of seven meetings during the regular season but has followed that with two losses at Dodger Stadium...St. Louis, one game after leaving 14 men on base, went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven on Thursday.

— Via The Sports Network

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Game 1 Full Recap: Dodgers Take Series Opener as Cards' Ace Carpenter Struggles

Matt Kemp belted a two-run homer and the Dodgers received a yeoman effort from the bullpen, as Los Angeles posted a 5-3 win over St. Louis in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Chavez Ravine.

Rafael Furcal collected three hits, including a triple, and knocked in a run for the Dodgers, who captured their second straight NL West crown. Casey Blake finished 2-for-4 with a run batted in.

Randy Wolf, making his first career postseason appearance, gave up two runs on six hits and walked five in 3 2/3 innings. Jeff Weaver (1-0) recorded the final out in the fourth and worked around a two-out double by Colby Rasmus in the fifth to get the win.

Ronald Belisario hurled a spotless inning for Los Angeles and Hong-Chih Kuo struck out pinch-hitter Troy Glaus to strand a pair of runners in the seventh. George Sherrill, a mid-season acquisition, retired two of the three batters he faced in the eighth before he was replaced by closer Jonathan Broxton, who earned a four-out save.

Mark DeRosa went 3-for-5 with an RBI for the NL Central champion Cardinals, who have dropped nine of their last 11 games dating back to the regular season.

Chris Carpenter (0-1), the NL Comeback Player of the Year, looked like anything but a Cy Young contender for St. Louis, surrendering four runs on nine hits and walking four in five innings of work.

“Chris’ command at times was not as sharp as it usually is,” said St. Louis manager Tony La Russa. “It’s a credit to their hitters and you have to tip your cap to them. We had a bunch of hits, we just got beat by someone who was better.”

The clubs established a postseason record by stranding a combined 30 men on base — 16 for Los Angeles — in a nine-inning game.

Game 2 of the this best-of-five series is scheduled for Thursday at 6:07 p.m. (et) in Los Angeles. Clayton Kershaw will toe the rubber for the Dodgers, while St. Louis counters with Adam Wainwright.

The most consistent Los Angeles pitcher down the stretch, Wolf, who won six of his last seven decisions, encountered trouble in the first inning. St. Louis had the bases loaded with no outs, but the veteran lefty limited the damage to one run.

After Matt Holliday was caught staring at a third strike, Ryan Ludwick hit a pop up to center field that fell between a charging Kemp and a backpedaling Ronnie Belliard. Skip Schumaker, who walked to begin the game, sprinted home with the series’ first run. Yadier Molina then grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Los Angeles answered in the bottom of the first when Furcal led off with a base hit and Kemp deposited Carpenter’s offering into the center-field bleachers.

“He gave me a sinker down the middle and I put a good swing on it,” Kemp said about his home run. “We tried to get Chris out of the game early and that’s what we did.”

The Dodgers pushed across another run in the third. Carpenter hit Andre Ethier on his back foot with a pitch and walked Manny Ramirez to start the frame. Ethier then advanced to third on a James Loney fly ball.

Next up was Blake and he hit a sharp grounder down the left-field line. DeRosa made a nice diving stop at third, but uncorked an errant throw that sailed into right field. Blake was credited with a single and an RBI as Ethier scored for a 3-1 Los Angeles lead.

St. Louis responded in its next turn at the plate, closing to within a run on a double by Schumaker. The Cardinals loaded the bases later in the fourth, but Weaver induced a groundout from Ludwick to end the inning.

Carpenter pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the home half of the fourth. After quickly retiring the first two batters, Carpenter yielded a single to Ethier and a double to Ramirez before walking Loney. The threat was thwarted when Ludwick chased down a liner off the bat of Blake in right.

Furcal’s sacrifice fly in the fifth extended the lead to 4-2, and Los Angeles tacked on another run in the sixth when reliever Kyle McClellan plunked Russell Martin with the bags full.

Broxton gave up an RBI double to DeRosa in the ninth to account for the final margin.

The Dodgers are in the postseason for the third time in the last four years. St. Louis, meanwhile, is back in the playoffs for the first time since winning the World Series in 2006…Los Angeles and St. Louis are meeting in the postseason for the third time. The Cardinals beat the Dodgers in a 2004 division series and the 1985 NL Championship Series, both en route to World Series defeats…Carpenter was 5-0 in six career starts against Los Angeles…The Dodgers finished 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position, while St. Louis was 3-for-13…St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols went 0- for-3 with a pair of walks.

— Via Sports Network

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