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Dodgers send it back to St. Louis with Game 5 NLCS win: Quick hits

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Adrian Gonzalez made his presence felt in a must-win Game 5. (USATSI)
Adrian Gonzalez made his presence felt in a must-win Game 5. (USATSI)

MORE: Game 5 box score

LOS ANGELES -- It was a must-win affair for the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS, and the Dodgers indeed won, 6-4 over the Cardinals. In doing so, they ensured that there will be a Game 6 back in St. Louis. Now let's break down Game 5 ...

Hero: Adrian Gonzalez. The Dodgers' steady leader stepped up in the big way in the must-win Game 5. At the plate, he went 3-4 with a single, two homers, two RBI and three runs scored. A-Gon was also smooth in the field, as he made nifty scoops in the first and fourth and was a turned in a pair of 3-1 putouts in the fifth. That's just what L.A. needed from cleanup hitter and first baseman.

Goat: It's not often that Yadier Molina wears the goat horns, but wear them he will for Game 5. On the day, Molina went 0-for-4 at the plate. Most critically, he hit into a pair of double plays -- one that erased a bases-loaded-one-out opportunity in the first and another inning-ending job in the third. In all, Molina left five runners on base in Game 5.

Turning point: When Carl Crawford launched a 447-foot, fifth inning home run to right and restored the Dodgers' original two-run lead, it pushed L.A.'s chances of winning to 82.8 percent, per FanGraphs. All of that came as Greinke had clearly settled in after a rough third inning.

It was over when: A.J. Ellis's seventh inning solo shot pushed the lead to 5-2 Dodgers. That meant a three-run deficit for the Cardinals, six offensive outs to go and a rested Kenley Jensen ready to chew up at least some of those outs. It was really, really over when A-Gon hit another spank in the eighth.

Next: There will be a Game 6! The Dodgers and Cardinals will head back to St. Louis for Game 6 on Friday, and it promises to be a compelling one. That's because Clayton Kershaw will be opposing Michael Wacha. Yes, please.

 
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