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NLCS Game 2: Michael Wacha dominant again, Cardinals squeak by Dodgers
Question of the Day
In 22 2-3 innings in his last three starts, Wacha has given up two runs on seven hits with 26 strikeouts and five walks.
The 6-6 Wacha struck out Puig and Juan Uribe with the bases loaded to end the sixth. Catcher Yadier Molina helped by making a couple trips to the mound.
“That was a game-changer right there,” Molina said. “To get out of that inning was unbelievable.”
Kershaw led off with a single, and runners were on second and third after second baseman Matt Carpenter slid in shallow right to glove Carl Crawford’s infield hit but threw it away for an error trying to get a forceout at second.
Adrian Gonzalez was walked intentionally to load the bases and the Dodgers 4-5 hitters coming up. Puig struck out on a fastball in the dirt and Uribe had a feeble cut chasing a 1-2 pitch out of the zone.
Carpenter tripled on Kershaw’s first pitch of the game but didn’t budge when the lefty retired the next three on nine pitches.
The Cardinals had another runner at third with nobody out in the fifth after Freese doubled and advanced on a passed ball by Ellis, This time they converted on Jay’s sacrifice fly to shallow left as Crawford’s throw was well offline.
Kershaw worked six snappy innings, needing just 72 pitches. He gave up two hits and struck out five.
The majors’ ERA leader had plenty left, too, but the Dodgers needed runs and manager Don Mattingly opted for pinch-hitter Michael Young after Nick Punto’s two-out single in the seventh.
“I always want to stay in the game, but I understand where Donnie’s coming from,” Kershaw said. “I get it. We can’t give up any more outs and Michael Young is one of the best players the last 10 years.”
Relievers Randy Choate and Carlos Martinez pitched the eighth for St. Louis before turning it over to Rosenthal.
The Cardinals handed Kershaw two of his nine losses this season and have beaten him four consecutive times overall.
By Michael Widlanski
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