In his first start of the postseason, Dodgers pitcher Ricky Nolasco surrendered three runs over four innings as the Cardinals edged the Dodgers 4-2 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series. In a game where neither starting pitcher recorded a quality start, the St. Louis bullpen overpowered Los Angeles’s star-studded lineup to come within one win of reaching its second World Series in three years.
The Cardinals notched three runs in the third inning behind Matt Carpenter’s RBI double to center field followed by a two-run Matt Holliday home run to deep left field. Shane Robinson tacked on another run in the top of the seventh with a pinch-hit solo home run for his first career postseason hit.
Nick Punto threatened the Cardinals’s two-run lead in the bottom of the seventh with a one-out double before promptly being picked off by Carlos Martinez. The Dodgers had just one more base runner (erased by a double-play in the ninth) after Punto’s long walk back to the dugout.
Rookie phenom Yasiel Puig led the Dodgers at the plate with two hits and an RBI, though he grounded into a double play in the ninth to stifle any chance at a comeback win.
Los Angeles will look to keep its World Series hopes alive on Wednesday afternoon behind Zack Greinke, who has picked up two losses this postseason despite allowing just four runs over fourteen innings and recording 13 strikeouts against a single walk. After relying on a high-powered offense for much of their impressive late-summer stretch, the Dodgers have managed just seven runs over four NLCS games.