The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 15, 2013

Dodgers blank Cards

LOS ANGELES — The St. Louis Cardinals’ offensive slump is turning into another postseason drought, and not even Adam Wainwright could keep the Los Angeles Dodgers from getting back into the NL championship series.

Wainwright yielded six hits and two runs in seven innings, but the Cardinals couldn’t score a run for their ace in their third straight awful offensive game, losing 3-0 to the Dodgers in Game 3 on Monday night.

St. Louis managed just four singles and never got a runner to third base against Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Los Angeles bullpen, leaving the NL Central champions wondering where their offense has gone for the second straight NLCS despite a 2-1 series lead.

The Cardinals haven’t scored in the last 13 innings, since the fifth inning of Game 2, and they have managed just one run in the last two games combined. St. Louis has scored in just three of the 31 innings in this series altogether — not encouraging numbers heading into Game 4 on Tuesday night.

Cardinals fans could be excused for flashing back to last season’s NLCS, when their offense froze up at an equally inopportune time. The defending World Series champions had a 3-1 series lead before managing just one run in the final three games, allowing the San Francisco Giants to surge past the Cards all the way to another title.

St. Louis’ normally solid defense also was suspect. Although the Cardinals didn’t commit an error, they made a series of poor decisions in the outfield starting with Mark Ellis’ fly ball that dropped between outfielders Jon Jay and Carlos Beltran for a double in the fifth inning, starting the Dodgers’ go-ahead rally.

The Cardinals beat Dodgers aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in the series’ first two games in St. Louis despite their meager offensive output, but Ryu outpitched Wainwright in front of an enthused Dodger Stadium crowd on a perfect night in Southern California.

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