Dodgers Backed Into a Corner Live for Another Game

There was no question about it. Game 5 was a must win for the Dodgers down three games to one in the best of seven series. Win and go to St. Louis on Friday. Lose and plan golf outings for the offseason.

"They seem fairly relaxed," manager Don Mattingly said before the game saying they were going about their normal business playing cards, dominoes, pregame workouts and what not.

So while they appeared business as usual, their play on the field dictated otherwise. They exploded for four home runs in their 6-4 win of the St. Louis Cardinals tying a franchise record.

Early on it looked like a rollercoaster game. Singles by Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, Juan Uribe and Zack Greinke in the second inning off of Cardinals Joe Kelly gave the Dodgers the 2-0 lead.

Greinke had early troubles with the top of the Cardinals lineup: Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday. The first time around a Beltran walk was sandwiched by singles by Carpenter and Holliday to load the bases, however a strike out of Matt Adams and a double play ball by Yadier Molina allowed Greinke to escape.

Greinke wasn't quite so lucky the second time around in the third inning. After starting pitcher Joe Kelly grounded back to the box, Carpenter singled, Beltran tripled and Holliday doubled to tie the game 2-2.

It looked like trouble for the Dodgers.

But with the warm weather and the 1 p.m. start time, Adrian Gonzalez's solo home run in the third inning gave the Dodgers new life.

It was the first home run they hit in this series, and they weren't done.

Carl Crawford hit one in the fifth off of Kelly.

A.J. Ellis hit one in the seventh off of reliever Kevin Siegrist. Gonzalez hit another one off of reliever John Axford. All solo homers giving the Dodgers the 6-2 lead.

A troubling note: Kenley Jansen was touched up for two runs and four hits needing 26 pitches to get out of the inning. But most importantly, they won the game. The Dodgers are still alive.

As I noted yesterday, the Cardinals had a 3-1 series lead in the NLCS last season before losing to the San Francisco Giants in seven. So perhaps history is repeating itself?

Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7 will be played in St. Louis on Friday and Saturday. The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw pitching in Game 6.