Jon Jay, Albert Pujols and David Freese had run-scoring doubles in a four-run first inning in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 4-3 win against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.
Earlier yesterday, the Texas Rangers moved within one win of advancing to the World Series by defeating the Detroit Tigers 7-3 in 11 innings to take a three-games-to-one lead in the AL Championship Series.
The Cardinals hold a 2-1 lead in games in the best-of-seven NL series, which continues tonight at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
“Obviously, I was concerned after the first inning,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said in a televised interview. “We bounced back in the second, third innings and I thought we would score a few more runs. They had a good bullpen.”
The Brewers rallied as Yuniesky Betancourt hit a run- scoring single and Jerry Hairston Jr. scored on Yovani Gallardo’s sacrifice fly in the second and Mark Kotsay blasted a home run in the third.
“The first inning was huge,” Freese said in a televised interview. “Our bullpen -- what a job they did.”
Chris Carpenter allowed three runs on six hits and struck out three in five innings. Jason Motte got the final four outs for the save, striking out three.
“I think when that phone rings (in the bullpen) we’re ready to go and battle our butts off,” Motte said.
More Cruz Heroics
At Comerica Park in Detroit, Mike Napoli’s run-scoring single off Detroit reliever Jose Valverde broke a 3-3 tie in the 11th, and Nelson Cruz followed with a three-run homer. Cruz, who ended Game 2 with a grand slam in the 11th inning for another Texas 7-3 win, has four home runs in the series.
“Unbelievable,” Napoli said in a televised interview. “Everybody had a part of this game.”
Game 5 is set for today in Detroit, weather permitting, in the best-of-seven series. The forecast is for rain. Yesterday’s game started more than two hours late because of a rain delay.
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run double in the third inning to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Ian Kinsler had a run-scoring double, and Elvis Andrus and Michael Young each hit run-scoring singles to put Texas ahead 3-2 in the sixth.
Brandon Inge hit a home run in the seventh inning for the Tigers to tie the game at 3-3 before Napoli and Cruz secured the victory.
Scott Feldman got the win after pitching a perfect 10th inning. Valverde gave up four runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings for the loss.
“We’re sendng a guy out there tomorrow who is pretty good,” Leyland said. “We’ve got to win.”
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