Wacha, Cardinals edge Dodgers for 2-0 lead in NLCS
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis rookie Michael Wacha pitched into the seventh inning with zero margin for error as the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 on Saturday to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series.
The Cardinals managed only two hits but Jon Jay’s sacrifice fly in the fifth inning was enough to take victory.
After losing the opener in 13 innings on Friday, the Dodgers have now gone 19 innings without scoring. St. Louis rookie fireballer Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth, fanning Andre Ethier on three pitches to end it.
Game 3 is Monday at Dodger Stadium, with Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright facing L.A. rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Los Angeles missed several chances to score, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position for a two-day total of 1 for 16.
Wacha was nearly untouchable for the third straight start, with eight strikeouts and only one walk in 6 2-3 scoreless innings.
The 22-year-old was one out away from a no-hitter in his last start of the regular season, and then in Game 4 of the NL division series against Pittsburgh, he held the Pirates hitless for 7 1-3 innings.
In 22 2-3 innings over those last three starts, Wacha has given up two runs with 26 strikeouts and five walks.
He withstood the only real trouble spot by striking out two batters with the bases loaded to end the sixth.
The sole run came in the fifth after David Freese doubled and advanced on when a passed ball which got through Los Angeles catcher A.J. Ellis, This time they converted on Jay’s sacrifice fly to shallow left as Carl Crawford’s throw to home was well offline.
Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw worked six snappy innings, needing just 72 pitches, and he had plenty left when he was removed in the seventh for a pinch hitter as the visitors desperately searched for runs. Kershaw has lost his past four against St. Louis.
The Cardinals lifted Wacha and used three relievers — Kevin Siegriest, Randy Choate and Carlos Martinez — before turning it over to Rosenthal.