It looked unlikely in the early-goings, but the Dodgers have survived to play another day. Zack Greinke pushed through a rough start to give Los Angeles seven strong innings and secure a 6-4 victory in Game 5, sending the NLCS back to St. Louis for two more (potential) elimination games.
Adrian Gonzalez provided a good portion of the wallop in LA's offensive attack Wednesday, blasting two solo shots into the right-field seats, but he wasn't alone in giving the home crowd fireworks. Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis also contributed solo home runs to the winning effort, increasing the Dodgers' home run total in the series from zero all the way up to four.
Greinke got off to a very rocky start, but managed to keep the Cardinals mostly at bay until he could settle in in the fourth. St. Louis loaded the bases with nobody out in the first, but couldn't muster a single run. The Cards did grab two runs in the third thanks to RBI extra-base knocks from Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday, but it turned out to be too little too late.
Greinke went into shutdown mode after allowing the two-spot, retiring the final 12 batters he faced to get the Dodgers to the eighth with a three-run lead. The right-hander finished the day with just four strikeouts, but was still good enough to hold the Cards back during the meat of the game, and even got an RBI single to help his own cause.
Kenley Jansen ran into a little bit of trouble in the ninth -- allowing two runs to score and the tying run to reach first -- but got two huge strikeouts to send the series back to St. Louis.
The Cardinals still hold the advantage as they head home for Friday's Game 6, but fans must be worried as they've seen this script play out before. The club (in)famously let a 3-1 NLCS lead slip against the Giants last year, then watched at home as San Francisco hoisted the World Series trophy.
Clayton Kershaw will take the hill for the Dodgers on Friday, so the Cardinals will have to get the better of the game's best pitcher to keep the series from going to a deciding Game 7.