Sugar! Rare Robinson HR caps Cards' Game 4 win

News-DemocratOctober 15, 2013 

Just like that, the St. Louis Cardinals are one win away from their 19th World Series berth.

The Cardinals beat Los Angeles 4-2 Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the National League Division Series, getting home runs from Matt Holliday and Shane Robinson and an RBI double from Matt Carpenter.

"That's about as good as I can hit one," said Holliday, whose homer disappeared beyond the Dodgers bullpen in left field in the third. "The Good Lord gave me some strength and I got a good swing on it."

Four innings later, the Cards got their second home run from Robinson, a 5-foot-9, 165-pound outfielder with two home runs in the regular sason.

"For a little guy he's got some surprising power," Holliday said on the TBS telecast. "He's got some thump."

Carpenter doubled home Daniel Descalso after his leadoff single in the third, and Carpenter trotted home on Holliday's first hit of the series. After the Dodgers cut the lead to 3-2 with a pair of RBI singles in the fourth, Robinson hit one off the top of the left-field wall in the seventh.

Cardinals starter Lance Lynn gave up two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. The Cardinals got 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief from the bullpen.

In a rematch of the series opener, won by St. Louis 3-2, Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly will face Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke at 3:07 p.m. Wednesday. Each gave up two runs in Game 1, but were long gone by the time the Cards won in 13 innings.

"We wanted to get one (win here)," Holliday said. "We just try to win every day. Tomorrow will be a huge challenge for us. That's been our mottoe all season -- just one game at a time.

"We'll try to win tomorrow's game, and we'll just come out and play as hard as we can."

In Tuesday's game, the Dodgers crept within a run of the Cards with two in the fourth, but Robinson slapped a pitch from J.P. Howell off the top of the left field wall three innings later.

Robinson, nicknamed "Sugar" by his teammates, was 0-for-1 in the series before his homer in the seventh. Prior to that moment, he had been hitless in 10 career postseason at-bats.

Carpenter's double in the third gave the Cardinals their first earned run since the 13th inning of Game 1.

With two out, Holliday hit the first pitch from Ricky Nolasco far over the left-field fence to give Lynn a three-run lead.

The hit was Holliday's first in 14 at-bats in the series, and was the Cardinals' first homer in the NLCS.

Lynn came partially unglued in the fourth, allowing a leadoff double by Adrian Gonzalez followed by a walk to Andre Ethier. Yasiel Puig, after reacting angrily to a high inside fastball from Lynn, singled home the first Dodger run.

A.J. Ellis singled home the second run with a one-out single, but Lynn got former Cardinals Skip Schumaker to hit into an inning-ending double play.

The Cards also got a double play to end the fifth. Puig's one-out single ended Lynn's evening; Seth Maness came on and got Juan Uribe to ground sharply to short; Pete Kozma, just in the game, started a 6-4-3 twin killing to end the threat.

The inside fastball to Puig may have been a message pitch after his histrionics on his RBI triple in Game 3; he flipped the bat after making contact, thinking the ball was gone, then celebrated as he got to third when the ball clanged off the right-field wall and evaded Carlos Beltran momentarily.

The Cardinals made a change in their starting eight for the game, hoping to jump-start an offense that's batted .134 the first three games and had scored one unearned run in 20 innings before Carpenter's RBI hit in the third.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny opted for Descalso over Pete Kozma at shortstop, batting eighth.

David Freese, who left the Cards' 3-0 loss to Los Angeles in Game 3 Monday because of a calf injury, was in the lineup batting seventh. He came out of Tuesday's game after his double-play grounder ended the sixth.

The Cardinals came into the game with only three players hitting above .200 -- Descalso and pitcher Joe Kelly at .500 with one hit in two at-bats each, and Molina at .273 with three hits in 11 at-bats -- while Kozma (0-for-9) and Holliday (0-for-12) had yet to get a hit.

In the first three games, Freese had two hits in 10 at-bats, Beltran and Carpenter two hits in 11 at-bats each, and Adams and Jay with one hit in 10 at-bats each.

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