Between the solid clutch performance of starter Zack Greinke and two home runs powered by Adrian Gonzalez, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 and forced a game six back in St. Louis on Friday.
Greinke didn't start in the best way, however worked himself out of a bases loaded jam that ended the first inning.
On the brink of elimination, the Dodgers came out with a sense of urgency when Juan Uribe connected on a single to center that scored Adrian Gonzalez for the 1-0 lead. Later, Greinke helped his own cause when he singled to left that scored Yasiel Puig for the 2-0 as the crowd erupted in celebration.
"That was big. I was real nervous out there with that situation," Greinke said.
The Cards would quiet the Dodger Stadium crowd when they charged back with two runs of their own in the third, when Carlos Beltran knocked out a RBI triple and Matt Holiday connected on an RBI single.
The Dodgers exploded in the next few innings with home runs from Gonzalez, AJ Ellis, and Carl Crawford for the huge 6-2 lead.
"Guys weren't ready to lose today," said Crawford.
When Gonzalez went back to the dugout after his second home run, brought his hands behind his ears and wiggled them like mouse ears. A clear gesture towards the comments that were made in Game 4 by pitcher Adam Wainwright about Gonzalez doing "Mickey Mouse stuff".
"It's just having fun," Gonzalez said. "I'm going to retire them so they're not talked about once again."
Brian Wilson had a brilliant performance against the Cards in the eight inning, shutting them down. Wilson's stock continued to rise with that masterful performance and throughout the series.
Kenley Jansen came in the ninth inning and struggled when he gave up two RBI singles to Mike Adams and Pete Kozma that made it a two run game. Jansen settled down for the final out that allowed the Dodgers to live for another game.
The Dodgers trail the Cards 3-2 in the best of seven series.
Greinke pitched seven concrete innings and allowed two runs, six hits with four strike outs in the win.
"He wasn't as sharp as he was the first time we faced him," Beltran said about Greinke. "But guys like that, the best guys in the game, they're able to regroup and find a way to help their team win."
Cards starter Joe Kelly gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings of work in the loss.
"We had a couple of opportunities to do something, and we just couldn't make it happen," manager Mike Matheny said.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had a slightly different outlook on the next upcoming games in St. Louis.
"We've kind of become America's team because everyone wants to see a seventh game," Mattingly said. "Probably even the fans in St. Louis would like to see a seventh game, so I figure that everybody's for us to win on Friday night."