The Cardinal way isn't always pretty. But no one can refute the results. With a 3-2 win on Tuesday night in St. Louis, the Cardinals will move on to appear in their fourth straight National League Championship Series.
Trailing for most of the game, St. Louis beat Clayton Kershaw for the second time in four games with a clutch home run, similar to their 3-1 win on Monday night. While Kolten Wong was the hero in game three, Matt Adams provided the home run that erased the deficit and put them in position to close out the series on their home diamond.
Kolten Wong the hero in Game three
Facing elimination, the Dodgers chose to bring back their ace on three days of rest, despite getting roughed up in the first game of the series at Dodger Stadium. In that one, Kershaw gave up seven runs in 6.2 innings. His performance wasn't quite as bad as his numbers indicated, though. A rough seventh inning spoiled a night where he only allowed a single hit up until that point. And Tuesday night sort of took on the same story.
Cardinals get it done
Like in game one, Kershaw only allowed a single hit through six innings of play. But unlike game one, his team couldn't get him a whole lot of run support. That help did come in the sixth inning though, when Matt Kemp's ground ball double play brought in the first run of the game and then Juan Uribe delivered a clutch two-out RBI single.
Both runs were charged to Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller, who left in that sixth after allowing just five hits and striking out four in his first career playoff start.
That 2-0 score held up until the seventh when Kershaw's great outing vanished even faster than in game one. Matt Holliday reached on an infield single and Jhonny Peralta's line drive just squirted over Hanley Ramirez's glove to put two on with no outs for Matt Adams.
And after a fairly quite first three games, Adams delivered the biggest knockout punch of the series with a three-run home run into the Cardinals' bullpen. The homer came on a curveball and was just the second time in his career that Clayton Kershaw allowed a home run to a left-handed batter on his curve.
Kershaw left the game after the three-run blast, but it was too late for Los Angeles to recover. Pat Neshek worked the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal saved his third game of the series (all three of St. Louis' wins). Left-Hander Marco Gonzales got the win with a scoreless seventh inning.
The win means that the only game the Cardinals have to play for now is the waiting game. St. Louis meets the winner of the series between the Giants and Nationals, with that series slated to start on Saturday.