'We're a better club than this': Cards fall 3-0 to Dodgers in Game 3

News-DemocratOctober 14, 2013 

Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez had RBI hits and Hyun-Jin Ryu threw seven shutout innings Monday as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers trimmed the Cardinals' lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1. Game 4 is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. Tuesday in Los Angeles, with Lance Lynn pitching for St. Louis against the Dodgers' Ricky Nolasco.

"The playoffs are one-day momentum swings," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Right now I feel like we've kind of grabbed it."

St. Louis managed just four hits against Ryu, Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen, who worked a one-two-three ninth for the save.

"We just had a lot of balls in the air tonight that hit the ground that normally don't," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We're a better club than this."

Adam Wainwright pitched well for the Cardinals, but was the losing pitcher. Wainwright allowed two runs (earned) on six hits, walked none and struck out five.

Ryu, a left-hander from Korea, was even better, however. He surrendered three hits in his seven innings, walked one and struck out four.

Already leading 2-0, the Dodgers posted an insurance run in the eighth against reliever Kevin Siegrist.

With one out, Carl Crawford singled against Siegrist. Seth Maness relieved and allowed Mark Ellis' single to left.

Ramirez then blooped a single over the head of second baseman Kolten Wong. Crawford hesitated rounding third, and Wong's throw went to shortstop Daniel Descalso at second base.

Descalso fired home, where Crawford was ruled safe by umpire Mike Everitt on a close play. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina made the tag, but replays indicated Crawford's foot reached the plate first.

An RBI double by Gonzalez and a run-scoring triple by Puig gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead against Wainwright in the fourth.

Ellis opened the inning with a fly to right-center. Center fielder Jon Jay was racing after the ball, but he pulled up at the last moment and it fell between him and right fielder Carlos Beltran for a double.

"It's a ball I've got to catch. I'm the center fielder. It's my ball. I've got to take charge," Jay said. "It came back to haunt us, but that's part of baseball. You're going to make mistakes sometimes."

Ramirez's fly to right advanced Ellis to third, and Gonzalez followed with his double down the right-field line. The run ended the Dodgers' 22-inning scoreless drought.

After Andre Ethier's grounder moved Gonzalez to third, Puig tripled over the head of Beltran to make it 2-0. Puig was 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts before he delivered the RBI.

Ryu was replaced by Wilson in the eighth. Wilson allowed a leadoff single to Jay, but he kept the Cardinals off the board.

Wainwright was lifted for pinch-hitter Adron Chambers in the eighth.

The Cardinals had only one baserunner through four innings --a walk by Beltran in the first. David Freese collected the Cardinals' first hit, dropping a single out of the reach of a diving Puig in right to start the fifth. Matt Adams then singled Freese to second.

Freese left the game with right calf tightness and was replaced by pinch-runner Descalso.

Then came one of the biggest plays of the game. Jay lined out to left, and Descalso wandered too far and was doubled off second by Crawford's throw. Pete Kozma hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

Los Angeles wasted a golden opportunity in the fifth. After A.J. Ellis led off with a triple off the glove of Jay, Wainwright got Ryu on a 1-4-3 grounder, struck out Crawford and got Mark Ellis on a roller to shortstop.

Ramirez, the Dodgers' shortstop who missed Game 2 on Saturday, played with a hairline fracture of his eighth rib on his left side. Joe Kelly hit Ramirez with a pitch in the first inning of Game 1 on Friday.

The Dodgers also had center fielder Ethier back in their lineup. Ethier missed the Game 2 start with an ankle injury.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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