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Big League Stew

NLCS Game 4: Cardinals bounce back with 4-2 victory to get one step from World Series

David Brown
Big League Stew

In what counts in recent history as an offensive explosion, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 on Tuesday night to win Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. One more victory, and they advance to the World Series for the 19th time.

Matt Holliday, who came in with no hits in the series and mired in an 0-for-22 streak at Dodger Stadium, hit a massive two-run homer to pad the Cardinals lead in the top of the third.

"That's about as hard as I can hit 'em," Holliday said to TV's Craig Sager.

Matt Carpenter came into Game 4 with two hits in 12 at-bats in the series, but his RBI double got the Cards on the board in the third. He also scored on Holliday's homer.

• Shane Robinson hit a pinch-hit solo home run against left-hander J.P. Howell in the seventh, giving the Cards some insurance. Robinson, listed at 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, had been 0 for 10 in the postseason and came in with a .302 slugging percentage in 200 career plate appearances against lefties. Neither team had homered coming into Game 4, and all of a sudden the Cards go deep twice.

• Lance Lynn wasn't great, but he never had gotten through the fifth inning in three previous postseason starts. He allowed two earned runs, six hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. It was good enough, and probably more than the Cards were expecting.

Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma. Descalso started at shortstop and hit a leadoff single in the third that led to the Cardinals first run. Kozma took over at short after David Freese left with an injury (with Descalso sliding to third) and helped turn a terrific double play in the sixth.

Nick Punto hit a one-out double in the bottom of the seventh with the top of the order coming up, but he was picked off second base by Carlos Martinez and Pete Kozma before another pitch was thrown.

• The Dodgers hit into three double plays.


Juan Uribe hit into a killer double play in the sixth after Yasiel Puig hit a one-out single. Pete Kozma made a great play in the hole at short and Matt Carpenter made a tough turn at second with Puig bearing down on him at the bag. Cardinals right-hander Seth Maness is a ground-ball machine.

Puig also hit into a double play in the ninth after Andre Ethier had led off with a single.

• Happy Holliday!

• Cardinals manager Matheny rolling the dice with Lynn and getting 16 outs out of him.

• Matheny also maneuvered well with Kozma and Descalso, with each contributing even though only one started.

With their season hanging by a thread, the Dodgers pitch right-hander Zack Greinke in Game 5 on Wednesday afternoon against right-hander Joe Kelly. If the Dodgers extend the series to Game 6 at St. Louis on Friday, ace lefty Clayton Kershaw probably pitches.

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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter — @answerdave!

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