St. Louis, MO, United States (4E Sports) – Rookie Michael Wacha pitched 6 2/3 scoreless frames while Jon Jay hit an RBI sacrifice fly as the St. Louis Cardinals edged the Los Angeles Dodgers, 1-0, Saturday to take a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium.
Wacha (1-0) allowed just five hit with a walk and eight strikeouts in a 112-pitch performance. In his last 22 2/3 frames, he allowed just seven hits, one run, five walks and 26 strikeouts.
The Cardinals’ bullpen, which contributed seven scoreless innings of relief in Game 1, backed Wacha with 2 1/3 shutout frames Saturday. The bullpen has not given up a run since Game 3 of the NL Division Series.
Wacha outplayed Clayton Kershaw (0-1), who gave up an unearned run on two hits with a walk and five strikeouts in six frames while the Dodgers went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, after going 1-for-10 in such situation in Game 1.
Hanley Ramirez was a late scratch for the Dodgers with a bruised rib while Andre Ethier made his first appearance as a pinch-hitter after missing one month due to an injured leg.
Nick Punto, who took over for Ramirez, was 1-for-3 with two strikeouts while Skip Schumaker, starting in center instead of Ethier, went 0-for-3, all groundouts.
The last time the Dodgers won a best-of-seven postseason series after losing the first two games was 1981, when they did it in the World Series against the Yankees.
David Freese opened the fifth with a double and took third on A.J. Ellis’ passed ball with no outs. Kershaw struck out Matt Adams with a slider but Jon Jay drove a slider deep enough for Freese to score the unearned run.
In the sixth inning, the Dodgers loaded the bases but Wacha fanned Juan Uribe with an 89-mph fastball to escape the jam.
The Cardinals go for a 3-0 lead with Adam Wainright on the mound against Hyun Jin Ryu in Monday’s Game 3 at Dodgers Stadium.