Beltran Takes Down Dodgers in 13-Inning NLCS Opener

Cardinals' Beltran makes key hits, and throw as they beat the Dodgers in Game 1 of the the NLDS

The Dodgers and Cardinals kicked off the best-of-seven NLCS on Friday with a 13-inning affair. St Louis took a 1-0 series lead thanks to timely hitting and key defense from All-Star Carlos Beltran in the 3-2 game.

The Dodgers struck first in the third inning starting with a Carl Crawford lead-off double. Mark Ellis advanced him to third, and the Cardinals loaded the bases by walking Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez.

Yasiel Puig came up with one out, and grounded out to the pitcher. It could have been a double play, but Kelly could only make the out at home. He prevented the run from scoring, but gave the Dodgers another chance.

With the bases still full, Juan Uribe -- the hero of NLDS Game 4 -- singled up the middle scoring the first two runs of the game.

The Cardinals bounced right back to tie the game up in the bottom of the third inning. Greinke got the first two batters to strike out, but gave up a single to the pitcher.

The hit rattled Greinke, and he walked Matt Carpenter putting two men on for Carlos Beltran. Beltran lined one to center field, just out of the reach of Andre Ethier to score two.

Ethier, who was playing the field for the first time since Sept. 13, was rusty and could not track down the ball on a play that he normally could have made.

After both teams scored two runs in the third, they played more than an entire game worth of scoreless baseball.

Zack Greinke was removed after eight innings with a fantastic performance. He gave up four hits and one walk for two runs with a season-high 10 strikeouts. It was a strong performance, but giving up a single to the pitcher with two outs came back to haunt him because of the lack offense.

In the ninth inning, Brian Wilson came in to relieve Greinke and got the first two outs of the inning. The game seemed sure to head into extra innings, but Wilson could not find the strike zone, and walked the next two batters.

With two out and two on, he faced Jon Jay who flied out to center field to end the inning and send the game into extras.

The Dodgers had a real chance to score the go-ahead run in the tenth inning. Mark Ellis lined one to center field, and Jon Jay tried to cut it off on a dive, but the ball got by and went all the way to the wall.

Ellis ended up at third with one out and the Dodgers big bats coming up. Hanley Ramirez was walked, and Michael Young popped out to center field. Carlos Beltran called off Jay in center, and lazered a throw home to catch Ellis at home for the inning-ending double play.

Whether Molina actually got the tag on Ellis is debatable, but the throw beat him by a few strides so there was no way the umpire would not call him out.

Beltran came up in the 13th inning with two runners on and one out with Kenley Jansen on the mound. He drove one down the right field line and to score the walk-off run.

The Dodgers finished 1-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. They hit into three double plays, squandering plenty of opportunities to score.

Beltran finished 2-6, drove in all three Cardinal runs, and had the fantastic throw in the 10th inning to keep the Dodgers from scoring a go-ahead run.

The 3-2 loss puts the Dodgers down 1-0 in the series.

In Game 2, which is set to start just 13 hours after the end of Game 1, the Dodgers will throw their other ace, Clayton Kershaw, against Michael Wacha.

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