By Beth Harris
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Adrian Gonzalez homered twice and Zack Greinke gave the Los Angeles Dodgers the clutch performance they needed in a 6-4 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday that trimmed St. Louis’ lead to 3-2 in the NL championship series.
Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis also went deep for the Dodgers, who rediscovered their power stroke just in time to save their season. They held on in the ninth inning, when St. Louis scored twice off closer Kenley Jansen before he struck out pinch-hitter Adron Chambers with two on to end it.
The best-of-seven series shifts back to St. Louis for Game 6 on Friday night, with ace Clayton Kershaw scheduled to start for the Dodgers against rookie Michael Wacha.
When those two squared off in Game 2, the Cardinals won 1-0 on an unearned run.
“This series is only getting started,” Gonzalez said. “We like where we’re at.”
Desperate to avoid elimination, the Dodgers brought in some Hollywood star power for pregame introductions. Will Ferrell announced their lineup and lent a comic spin to each player’s name, capping it by introducing Greinke as “today’s winning pitcher.”
Ferrell knew what he was talking about.
Greinke got into a bases-loaded jam with none out in the first inning but escaped with no damage. From there, he pitched seven strong innings and even delivered an RBI single.
The Cardinals also led last year’s NLCS 3-1 before losing three straight games to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
“We’re looking to do the same thing,” Gonzalez said.
The Dodgers rallied in this one after Greinke gave up an early 2-0 lead just as he did in Game 1, which Los Angeles lost 3-2 in 13 innings on the road.
After neither team homered in the first three games for the first time in NLCS history, the big bats came out. The Cardinals used a two-run homer by Matt Holliday and a solo shot from pinch-hitter Shane Robinson to win 4-2 on Tuesday night.
This time, Gonzalez went 3 for 4 with two solo homers. His two-out shot in the eighth made it 6-2.
The Cardinals tied it at 2 in the third on Carlos Beltran’s RBI triple and Holliday’s run-scoring double before Yadier Molina grounded into his second inning-ending double play.
Los Angeles answered in the bottom half. Gonzalez hit the Dodgers’ first homer of the NLCS, slugging the ball an estimated 428 feet into the right-field pavilion.