(BaseballStL) -- Prior to Wednesday, the NLCS had been a pitcher-dominated affair, but Game 5 was a back and forth with the bats.
There were shades of 2012 early on when Dodger starter Zach Greinke escaped a bases loaded jam in the first inning.
After two singles and a walk filled the bags in nine pitches, Greinke managed strike out Adams and get Molina to ground into a double play.
Barry Zito escaped a similar situation in Game 5 of last year's NLCS in the second inning, and from there the series was all Giants.
The Dodgers made the most of Greinke's recovery, notching two runs in the second inning. The first came off a Juan Uribe single, scoring Adrian Gonzalez from second.
Greinke then helped himself by driving a single between short and third, scoring Yasiel Puig. Carl Crawford ended the volley by striking out, but the Dodgers took a 2-0 lead into the top of the third.
Carlos Beltran continued to write his own chapter of October legend. The latest entry came in Wednesday's third inning, when he missed a game-tying homer by less than an inch.
The ball bounced off the wall in dead center, resulting in a triple that scored Matt Carpenter. Carpenter had reached on a two-strike hit, something he led the majors in this season.
Matt Holliday knotted the game at 2-2 with a scorched gap double, and Matt Adams made it first and third with a broken bat roller to the second baseman. Yadier Molina ended the rally with his second double play of the game.
Los Angeles would reclaim the lead following the Cardinal rally on a Gonzalez solo shot to right field, a towering 428-foot blast that reignited the crowd going into the fourth inning. It would not be his last.
Carl Crawford joined the home run party with a 447-foot blast in the fifth, giving the Dodgers a two-run cushion, and A.J. Ellis took a ball to left field in the seventh to make it 5-2.
Gonzalez struck again in the eighth, taking John Axford to left field and giving Dodger closer Kenley Jansen plenty of room.
He would need it, as the Cardinals mounted a comeback effort in the ninth that had Los Angeles fans wringing their hands.
After peppering four hits, the Redbirds cut the lead to two before Adron Chambers struck out to end Game 5 and send the series back to St. Louis.
The Cardinals will face Clayton Kershaw and send Michael Wacha to the mound at home for Game 6.