LOS ANGELES – With their most productive hitter still laboring after every swing and their other former MVP candidate riding around the clubhouse on a scooter because of a weak left ankle, the Dodgers saved their season Wednesday afternoon by getting power from some unexpected sources.
A pair of former Red Sox helped snap a tie with booming home runs and catcher A.J. Ellis followed with his first postseason homer as the Dodgers staved off elimination to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 in front of 53,183 sun-drenched fans at Dodger Stadium.
The Cardinals made it interesting by scoring two runs in the ninth, but closer Kenley Jansen struck out Adron Chambers looking representing the potential go-ahead run to end the game. St. Louis still leads the series three games to two with Game 6 set for Friday at Busch Stadium.
Adrian Gonzalez uncorked a 428-foot shot off Joe Kelly in the bottom of the third inning to snap a 2-2 tie and give starter Zack Greinke some much-needed support. Carl Crawford, who hit six home runs in 116 games during the regular season, delivered his fourth of the postseason with a solo shot in the fifth for a 4-2 lead.
Greinke, who escaped a bases-loaded no-out jam in the first inning and then escaped a two-run second after getting Yadier Molina to bounce into a double play, survived to pitch seven strong innings, allowing those two runs and six hits with four strikeouts.
Now, the Cardinals will face Clayton Kershaw on full rest in Game 6. Kershaw led the majors in ERA this season, making for an interesting trip back to St. Louis.
Gonzalez sent the fans into a frenzy when he belted his second solo homer of the game, a soaring shot into the left-field corner for a 6-2 lead in the eighth. The four homers were tied for the most in one postseason game in club history.
And it came without much contribution from Hanley Ramirez, who went 0-for-3 and left after six innings to continue to rest his broken rib, and Matt Kemp is out for the playoffs with a swollen bone in his left ankle.