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Dodgers take the solo route to stay alive with 6-4 Game 5 victory

October 16, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Ddogers left fielder Carl Crawford is congratulated by first base coach Davey Lopes after hitting a home run in the fifth inning of Game 5.
Ddogers left fielder Carl Crawford is congratulated by first base coach… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

Seems the Dodgers want to keep playing.

Using the sudden power of the solo home run and a terrific turnaround pitching performance from Zack Greinke, the Dodgers lived to fight another day with their 6-4 victory Wednesday afternoon over the Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

The victory staved off elimination, but still leaving the Cardinals up three games to two in the best-of-seven series.

After taking a day off Thursday, the series is scheduled to resume Friday with Game 6 in St. Louis.

The score was tied 2-2 when the Dodgers suddenly discovered their new love affair with the solo home run.

Adrian Gonzalez started it with a shot in the third, Carl Crawford added another in the fifth, A.J. Ellis joined the party with one in the seventh, and Gonzalez apparently enjoying his first one so much, that he added another one in the eighth.

In the first four games of the series, the Dodgers had exactly zero home runs.

The four home runs in a single game ties the club postseason record, accomplished twice before.

Greinke struggle with his control early. He had to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and then gave up a pair of runs in the third, but then never allowed another baserunner in his seven innings.

Kenley Jansen made things interesting in the ninth, giving up a pair of runs four hits before catching pinch-hitter Adron Chambers looking at a third strike with runners on first and second.

Here is an inning-by-inning recap of the NLCS Game 5:

Dodgers 6, Cardinals 4 (end of ninth, final):

The Cardinals got their first hit since the third inning when Matt Holliday's fly to right field was apparently lost in the sun by Yasiel Puig, who stabbed late and short for the ball. Then he trotted back after it as Holliday took second.

Matt Adams lined a single to center to score Holliday, but Kenley Jansen made it interesting after striking out Yadier Molina by giving up a single to Jon Jay. He struck out David Freese before Pete Kozma delivered a run-scoring single to right field. Jansen then struck out pinch-hitter Adron Chambers, who watched an outside pitch for strike three.

Dodgers 6, Cardinals 2 (end of eighth):

The Dodgers scored one more via -- do they know any other way? -- the solo home run.

Adrian Gonzalez enjoyed his first one so much, he added another. This one coming against John Axford with two outs in the eighth.

Three more outs and they head back to St. Louis.

Dodgers , Cardinals 0 (middle of eighth);

Brian Wilson followed his beard to the mound and then promptly retired the Cardinals in order. The last 16 Cardinals have now gone down.

Kenley Jansen is warming up for the ninth.

Dodgers 5, Cardinals 2 (end of seventh):

The Dodgers are now officially in love with the solo home run. Kiss, kiss, smooch, smooch.

Once locked in a 2-2 game, the Dodgers have taken a three-run lead via the solo shot.

A.J. Ellis joined the home run party with his solo shot out to left. Repeat: Until today, the Dodgers had no home runs in the first four games of the series. Must love day games.

Michael Young also pinch hit for Zack Greinke, to officially end his day. That was some turnaround performed by the right-hander. After struggling in the first three innings, he retired the last 13 consecutive Cardinals he faced.

In his seven innings, he allowed two runs on six hits and a walk, with four strikeouts.

Dodgers 4, Cardinals 2 (middle of seventh):

Hanley Ramirez did not come back out at short to start the inning and has been replaced by Nick Punto.

Ramirez was hitless in three at-bats, and with the Dodgers up by two it may have been deemed it was better to get him out now, without further aggravating his sore ribs. Also, at this point Punto is a superior defensively.

In what was probably his last inning, Zack Greinke again retired the Cardinals in order. Since the Cards scored their two runs in the third, he set down the last 13 consecutive hitters.

Manager Don Mattingly now has it set up to bring Brian Wilson in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth

Dodgers 4, Cardinals 2 (end of sixth):

St. Louis starter Joe Kelly did not come back out start the inning. Kelly allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk in his five innings, striking out four. Kelly lasted six inning in the series opener.

The Cardinals went to ex-Dodger Randy Choate for two outs and then to Edward Mujica for the third out, retiring the Dodgers in order.

Dodgers 4, Cardinals 2 (middle of sixth):

Zack Greinke is looking strong, his curveball again back in control.

He retired the Cardinals in order again and has now retired 10 straight. He finished the inning by striking out Yadier Molina on a 94 mph fastball.

Through the sixth, however, he has thrown 93 pitches.

Dodgers 4, Cardinals 2 (end of fifth);

The Dodgers are liking this solo home-run routine.

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