Cardinals power past Dodgers in Game 3 of NLDS, grab 2-1 lead in series

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The Cardinals are just one win away from a trip to the NLCS.

Behind an impressive start from John Lackey and some thump from Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong, the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 3-1 in Game 3 of the NLDS this evening in St. Louis.

This is the kind of outing the Cardinals were hoping for when they acquired Lackey from the Red Sox at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The veteran right-hander was excellent, allowing just one run on five hits and one walk over seven innings to go along with eight strikeouts. The lone run scored on an RBI double from Hanley Ramirez in the sixth inning.

Making his first start since September 12 due to shoulder inflammation, Hyun-Jin Ryu was solid in his own right for the Dodgers. He gave up just one run — a solo homer from Matt Carpenter in the third inning — over his six innings of work. The Dodgers couldn’t have asked for much more under the circumstances. However, the Cardinals took the lead back as soon as Ryu left the ballgame, as Kolten Wong launched a two-run homer off Scott Elbert in the bottom of the seventh inning. It proved to be the difference in the ballgame.

Pat Neshek followed Lackey with a perfect eighth inning before closer Trevor Rosenthal worked around some trouble — and an issue with the mound — to get the final three outs.

It all falls on Clayton Kershaw now for the Dodgers. After he fell apart late in Game 1 last Friday, he’ll start on three days’ rest in Game 4 tomorrow. The Cardinals will go with Shelby Miller as they attempt to advance.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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