Beltran Leads Cardinals Past Dodgers in 13-Inning NLCS Opener

Carlos Beltran knocked in the winning run in the 13th inning to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opening game of the National League Championship Series.

Beltran, who drove in all the Cardinals’ runs and saved a run by throwing out a man at the plate in the 10th inning, ended the four-hour, 47-minute game with his single into the right-field corner off reliever Kenley Jansen.

The game ended almost a half-hour past midnight at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, where Game 2 in the best-of-seven NLCS is set for this afternoon.

“Today was a good game and that’s what it’s all about,” Beltran, 36, said in a televised on-field interview. “They didn’t want to lose, we didn’t want to lose.”

The American League Championship Series begins tonight with the Detroit Tigers visiting the Boston Red Sox.

Justin Verlander struck out 10 and allowed two hits in eight innings two nights ago as the Tigers won a decisive Game 5 in their division series at the Oakland Athletics. The Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays three games to one.

In St. Louis, pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso singled with one out in the Cardinals’ 13th off Chris Withrow, the fifth Dodgers pitcher. Descalso moved to second on a walk to Matt Carpenter and scored on Beltran’s single.

The Dodgers had threatened in the 10th inning when Mark Ellis tripled with one out. After an intentional walk to Hanley Ramirez, Michael Young hit a fly ball to right field and Beltran threw Ellis out at the plate to keep the score tied.

Juan Uribe gave Los Angeles a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a two-run single. Uribe’s two-run homer in the eighth inning gave the Dodgers a 4-3 victory in the final game of their division series against the Atlanta Braves.

After Dodgers starter Zack Greinke retired the first eight St. Louis hitters, pitcher Joe Kelly got the first hit of the game for the Cardinals and Matt Carpenter walked. Beltran followed with a two-run double to tie the game.

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