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MLB playoff roundup: Dodgers beat Cards; Tigers top Red Sox

Adrian Gonzalez

Los Angeles' Adrian Gonzalez hits a home run in the third inning of Wednesday's Game 5 of the National League baseball championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals. AP photo

By
From page B8 | October 17, 2013 |

LOS ANGELES — Adrian Gonzalez homered twice and Zack Greinke gave the Los Angeles Dodgers the clutch performance they needed in a 6-4 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday that trimmed St. Louis’ lead to 3-2 in the NL championship series.

Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis also went deep for the Dodgers, who rediscovered their power stroke just in time to save their season. They held on in the ninth inning, when St. Louis scored twice off closer Kenley Jansen before he struck out pinch-hitter Adron Chambers with two on to end it.

The best-of-seven series shifts back to St. Louis for Game 6 on Friday night, with ace Clayton Kershaw scheduled to start for the Dodgers against rookie Michael Wacha.

When those two squared off in Game 2, the Cardinals won 1-0 on an unearned run.

“This series is only getting started,” Gonzalez said. “We like where we’re at.”

Desperate to avoid elimination, the Dodgers brought in some Hollywood star power for pregame introductions. Will Ferrell announced their lineup and lent a comic spin to each player’s name, capping it by introducing Greinke as “today’s winning pitcher.”

Ferrell knew what he was talking about.

Greinke got into a bases-loaded jam with none out in the first inning but escaped with no damage. From there, he pitched seven strong innings and even delivered an RBI single.

The Cardinals also led last year’s NLCS 3-1 before losing three straight games to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

“We’re looking to do the same thing,” Gonzalez said.

Tigers 7, Red Sox 3: At Detroit, An untimely bobble by Dustin Pedroia and a pair of four-pitch walks from Jake Peavy cost Boston a chance to take control of the AL championship series.

Detroit scored five runs off Peavy in the pivotal second after Pedroia fumbled away his opportunity at an inning-ending double play, and the Tigers won to tie the best-of-seven playoff at two games apiece.

Peavy picked a bad time to have his worst performance of the year. Acquired in late July as part of a three-team trade that included the Tigers, the right-hander allowed a season-high seven runs in three-plus innings.

He didn’t get much help from Pedroia during Detroit’s big rally.

Boston’s normally sure-handed second baseman booted a sharply hit grounder that could have been converted into a critical double play. Instead of holding the Tigers to one run in the inning, the Red Sox had to settle for a force at second and Detroit took advantage by scoring four more runs.

“He’s so consistent. He’s such a good defender,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He squares it up and typically that’s a routine double play we’ve seen many, many times over. Like I said, it handcuffed him a little bit, just enough to not be able to turn a double play.”

Peavy gave up five hits in his shortest start since June 4, when he was still with the Chicago White Sox. The Tigers helped Boston acquire Peavy in a three-team deal less than three months ago that netted Detroit rookie shortstop Jose Iglesias.

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