Cardinals beat Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw yet again, advance to fourth straight NLCS

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The Cardinals are heading to the NLCS for the fourth consecutive season, and for the ninth time since 2000.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw had allowed just one hit through six scoreless innings in Game 4 of the NLDS on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, but Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta kicked off the bottom of the seventh with singles and then Matt “Big Mayo” Adams slugged an improbable go-ahead three-run shot into the St. Louis bullpen in right field on a Kershaw curveball that hung just a little too high.

It was the first time a left-handed hitter had EVER homered off a Kershaw curveball. Oh, and Adams has a .197 career average against left-handed pitchers.

Pat Neshek tossed a clean eighth inning and then Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal pitched in but out of danger in the top of the ninth inning to ice the 3-2 Game 4 victory, delivering St. Louis the best-of-five National League Division Series. A series in which the Cardinals got to Kershaw for a whopping 11 runs — all earned — in 12 2/3 innings. A series in which Kenley Jansen — the Dodgers’ best reliever — faced only three batters. A series in which Yasiel Puig — the Dodgers’ best position player — was used merely as a pinch-runner in the deciding game.

St. Louis will meet either the San Francisco Giants or Washington Nationals in the next round.