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NLCS Game 3: Cards gain control after measured 4-3 win

Score and situation: The rain kept its distance — and so did the squirrels — as the St. Louis Cardinals recorded a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 of the NLCS on Wednesday night. The victory gives the Cards a 2-1 series lead.

[Related: Zombie-like resilience propels Cardinals]

Leading lads: Jon Jay(notes), Albert Pujols(notes) and David Freese(notes) all hit RBI doubles off Yovani Gallardo(notes) in a four-run first inning that gave St. Louis all the runs it would need. The Cardinals bullpen could not have been more effective, retiring all 12 batters it faced after starter Chris Carpenter left the game. Jason Motte(notes) earned the save after striking out three of the Brewers' last four batters.

NLCS Game 3: Cards gain control after measured 4-3 winHead hangers: Corey Hart(notes) continued being a black hole atop the Brewers' lineup, going 0-for-4 and lowering his postseason average to .181 (6-for-33). Ryan Braun(notes) and Prince Fielder(notes) were a combined 1-for-6 while surprise center fielder Mark Kotsay(notes) erased the contributions of his solo shot with an adventurous first inning on the basepaths and in the outfield.

Key play: Freese's two-out double in the first inning scored Matt Holliday(notes) and gave St. Louis a lead that it would not relinquish.

Interesting stat: Motte has a 0.00 ERA after facing 18 batters this season. He has allowed only one hit while striking out six.

[Y! Sports Shop: Show off your team support with playoffs garb]

What they'll be talking about: We didn't get the great pitching matchup between Carpenter and Gallardo that we envisioned and the game came down to the bullpens. We could see a repeat of that theme for Game 4 with Randy Wolf(notes) and Kyle Lohse(notes) taking the mound — both had terrible NLDS outings — so can St. Louis' relievers again stand this tall?

What's next:  The two teams will meet at Busch Stadium for Thursday's Game 4. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 ET.

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