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Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- Michael Wacha came up with some kind of encore.

The St. Louis Cardinals rookie righthander outdueled Clayton Kershaw Saturday in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, working 6 2/3 shutout innings in a 1-0 win that put the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 2-0 hole in the best-of-7 series.

Wacha, who allowed just one hit over 7 1/3 innings Monday in a 2-1 victory at Pittsburgh in Game 4 of the NLDS, scattered five hits, walked one and fanned eight. He left after Nick Punto's two-out single in the seventh to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 46,872.

Four relievers picked up the last seven outs, with Trevor Rosenthal striking out the side in the ninth for his first NLCS save. St. Louis will aim for a 3-0 series lead Monday in Los Angeles with ace Adam Wainwright on the mound.

Kershaw matched Wacha pitch-for-pitch on a bright, sunny afternoon which saw both pitchers benefit from shadows around the plate that hampered batters' visibility for the game's first half. Throwing just 72 pitches over six innings, Kershaw gave up just two hits, walked one and fanned five.

But the last hit was David Freese's leadoff double in the fifth. Freese moved to third on A.J. Ellis' passed ball and scored an unearned run when Jon Jay golfed a 1-2 curve off his shoetops for a sacrifice fly to left.

The Dodgers missed on a golden chance in the sixth when they loaded the bases with one out on singles by Kershaw and Carl Crawford -- Matt Carpenter's throwing error moved the runners up a base -- and an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez.

Wacha got Yasiel Puig to swing for a low 3-2 fastball and strike out, then induced Juan Uribe to chase after a 1-2 changeup as Busch Stadium roared its approval.

Punto got to third in the seventh after reliever Kevin Siegrist unleashed consecutive wild pitches with pinch-hitter Michael Young at the plate, but Young flew out to right.

Los Angeles never got the tying run on base after that, its last five hitters striking out. That included Puig's fourth punchout of the day and his sixth in two games.

NOTES: St. Louis manager Mike Matheny announced Saturday that RHP Lance Lynn, who pitched the last two innings and got the win in Game 1, will get the start Tuesday night in Game 4 opposite RHP Ricky Nolasco. Lynn threw six shutout innings May 24 in a 7-0 win at Dodger Stadium. ... Los Angeles SS Hanley Ramirez (ribs) was scratched less than an hour before the game and replaced by Punto. The Dodgers also didn't start CF Andre Ethier (ankle), who missed the NLDS, and replaced him with Skip Schumaker. Ethier fanned on three pitches to end the game. ... Game 1's 13-inning classic was the third longest in NLCS history, trailing only the 1986 Game 6 between the New York Mets and Houston (16 innings) and the 1999 Game 5 with the Mets and Atlanta (15).
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