Dodgers defeat sloppy Cardinals in Game 3 -

Dodgers defeat sloppy Cardinals in Game 3

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By Scott Bierman By Scott Bierman
By John Bailey By John Bailey
By John Bailey By John Bailey

(BaseballStL) -- In what began as another pitching duel, Game 3 saw the Dodgers finally break through in the NLCS. After going 22 innings without a run, Los Angeles finally got on the board when Mark Ellis' fly ball to right center fell in the gap for a leadoff double.

Jon Jay and Carlos Beltran both pursued the ball, which looked to be Jay's. At the last second, the center fielder pulled up, and the ball dropped between them for a hit.

“It wasn't very characteristic of how we played all season,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “Our team has done a great job of improving defensively. We just had a lot of balls in the air tonight that hit the ground that normally don't. We're a better club than this.”

A sacrifice fly moved Ellis over, and Adrian Gonzalez drove him in with a double. Yasiel Puig continued the scoring, getting his first hit in the series when he ripped a triple off of the wall in right.

The Dodgers added another run in the eighth for a 3-0 lead, which would stand as the game’s final score.

Adam Wainwright carried a 2-0 deficit into the dugout, despite striking out four and retiring nine out of the first 10 batters.

Matching him on the mound, Hyun-Jin Ryu retired 11 straight Cardinal hitters after allowing an 0-2 walk to Carlos Beltran in the first, and carried a no hitter into the fifth.

Home plate umpire Mike Everitt was calling a generous zone early, punching out Yadier Molina on a pitch that appeared to be low and outside. Since that at-bat in the top of the first, Molina called for a steady supply of pitches low and on the corners to the Dodgers. The result was a series of strikeouts and weakly hit balls until Ellis' double.

The Cardinals appeared to threaten in the fifth when David Freese and Matt Adams began the inning with singles. However Freese was pulled with tightness in his right calf, and Daniel Descalso stepped in to pinch run.

Descalso was promptly doubled off when Jon Jay hit a liner to left, and the inning ended with a Pete Kozma ground ball.

A second strikeout of Adams to end the Cardinals’ seventh inning would mark the end of Ryu’s night. The Cardinals managed only three hits and a walk over seven innings against the Korean lefthander.

Ryu threw a total of 108 pitches, including 69 strikes.

“I think just the experience of the last series really helped him today,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “I think we've seen him aggressive with the fastball, and when you see that with him, then it sets everything else up, like most guys. He was a guy that was aggressive with the fastball and he was able to get ahead in the count. He uses the off-speed.”

The Cardinals started to threaten the Dodgers lead again in the eighth when Jay hit a leadoff single, but reliever Brian Wilson slammed the door by getting pinch hitters Kolten Wong, who was in for Pete Kozma, Adron Chambers, who hit for Wainwright, and Carpenter out in order to end the inning.

Wainwright’s night was over after allowing two runs on six hits over seven innings pitched. He threw a total of 91 pitches, 59 of which went for strikes.

The Dodgers added to their lead when Hanley Ramirez hit a bloop single past Wong as Carl Crawford rounded third base to set up a play at the plate. Plate umpire Everitt called Crawford safe as Molina’s tag was applied just late and the Dodgers lead grew to three runs. Two runners were left in scoring position as Randy Choate struck out Andre Ethier to end the eighth.

Kenley Jansen came on to face the two-through-four hitters due up for St. Louis in the ninth. Beltran popped out in foul territory, Matt Holliday grounded out and Molina grounded out to end the game.

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