Dodgers drop Game 1 against Cardinals in record-setting NLCS opener

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error After a brief conference on the mound, Kelly got Puig to hit a ground ball back to the mound on a 96-mph fastball. The pitcher bobbled the baseball, then threw home to retire Crawford.The next batter was Juan Uribe, whose home run in the eighth inning Monday lifted the Dodgers into the National League Championship series.Uribe delivered another key postseason hit, a two-run single that scored Ramirez and Gonzalez to put the Dodgers ahead 2-0.The lead was short-lived.Kelly singled with two outs in the bottom of the third, giving the Cardinals their first baserunner against Greinke. The right-hander walked Matt Carpenter, then went to a 3-1 count on Carlos Beltran.No stranger to big October hits himself, Beltran hit a double off the center-field fence that fell three feet short of a home run. Andre Ethier, playing his first game in the outfield in nearly a month, had no trouble getting to the baseball. But he overreached at the last second, and Beltran tied the game with a two-run double.The Dodgers didn’t threaten again until Gonzalez led off the eighth inning with a walk. He was replaced immediately for a pinch-runner, Dee Gordon, but the move didn’t work: Gordon was retired on a forceout at second base and Uribe hit into an inning-ending double play.“You’ve got to shoot your bullet when you get the chance,” Mattingly said of having Gordon run for Gonzalez. “If we don’t use him there, the next guy hits a ball in the gap and (Gonzalez) didn’t score there, you’re going to say ‘why didn’t you use Dee?’ ”Michael Young replaced Gonzalez at first base in the bottom of the eighth inning, but didn’t figure heavily into the game until the 10th.With one out and Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal on the mound, Ellis tripled to right-center field on a line drive that got past center fielder Jon Jay, bouncing all the way to the wall.The next batter, Hanley Ramirez, was intentionally walked to bring up Young. Young came close to doing his job; instead he earned a bit part in a piece of postseason lore.Young drove a 98-mph fastball from Rosenthal to medium right field, where Carlos Beltran called off Jay to make the catch. Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach ordered Ellis to sprint home from third base, and Beltran’s right arm was up to the challenge.Catcher Yadier Molina fielded Beltran’s throw a few feet up the third-base line and absorbed a shoulder-to-shoulder collision with Ellis, gripping the baseball in his glove. Molina pumped his fist three times and the inning was over.Young also grounded into an inning-ending double play in the 12th inning. ST. LOUIS >> Zack Greinke has thrown 14 innings in the playoffs and allowed a total of four runs.He’s still looking for his first win.Greinke delivered in his first postseason Game 1 assignment against the St. Louis Cardinals, but did not factor into the decision — not by a longshot — in the Dodgers’ 3-2 loss in 13 innings. The clock was past midnight Saturday at Busch Stadium when the Dodgers and Cardinals remained tied 2-2 in the 13th inning. It was the longest National League Championship Series opener in history.center_img Carlos Beltran ended it with an RBI single to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.“If the rest of the series is like this game,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said, “it should be a pretty good one.”Greinke threw eight innings, allowing only four hits, walking one batter and striking out a season-high 10. St. Louis starter Joe Kelly was not as efficient, but just as effective as Greinke in six innings. He allowed six hits, walked two and struck out five.“Zack was really good and probably could have kept going,” Mattingly said. “He was really good tonight.” Both teams got on the board with a pair of runs in the third inning.Carl Crawford led off with a double to the left-field corner and went to third base on a groundout by Mark Ellis. Kelly walked Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez, loading the bases for Dodgers slugger Yasiel Puig.last_img read more