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Dodgers top Cardinals 3-0, cut NLCS deficit to 2-1

Monday, 14 October 2013 22:38 Published in Sports

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Led by a pair of precocious rookies, the Los Angeles Dodgers got themselves right back into the NL championship series.

Hyun-Jin Ryu outpitched Adam Wainwright with seven innings of three-hit ball, and Yasiel Puig tripled home a run to help Los Angeles beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 on Monday night in Game 3.

Adrian Gonzalez's RBI double ended a 1-for-17 drought for the Dodgers with runners in scoring position. An ailing Hanley Ramirez added a run-scoring hit of his own as Los Angeles handed Wainwright his first postseason loss and trimmed its deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Game 4 is Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, with Ricky Nolasco scheduled to start against St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn.

Los Angeles got Ramirez and center fielder Andre Ethier back in the lineup after both proved in batting practice they were healthy enough to play. Ramirez wore a lightweight flak jacket to protect his broken left rib - having been hit by a pitch from Joe Kelly in Game 1 - while Ethier has been bothered by shin splints.

"What can I say? It couldn't be better," Ramirez said. "Really happy we got the first win. Just come back tomorrow and even up the series."

Ramirez singled his first time up off Wainwright and then helped the Dodgers extend their lead to 3-0 in the eighth.

Ramirez hit a soft single off Seth Maness over the head of new second baseman Kolten Wong to score Carl Crawford. The speedy Crawford, on second base after a one-out single, rounded third and never stopped running when the throw from the outfield went to second base.

On a close play at the plate, Crawford barely beat the tag by catcher Yadier Molina.

During the rally, retired Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda, whose 1988 team won the franchise's last World Series title, stood up and waved his white rally towel to raucous applause.

Ryu and Wainwright were nearly even through the first three scoreless innings, with Wainwright giving up one hit. Ryu, who struggled in his first career postseason start in the division series against Atlanta, retired 12 of his first 13 batters, yielding only a walk.

Ryu was much improved after lasting just three innings as the first South Korean pitcher to start a playoff game last week against Atlanta. He allowed four runs on six hits for a no-decision in a game the Dodgers won.

The left-hander didn't allow a Cardinals runner past second base. David Freese's single to right leading off the fifth was their first hit of the game.

Freese was replaced by a pinch-runner in the fifth because of tightness in his right calf. He is day to day.

Ryu struck out four and walked one.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly came out to the mound accompanied by a translator with two outs in the seventh. Ryu responded by striking out Matt Adams to end the inning as catcher A.J. Ellis pumped his right arm in the air. Fans waved South Korean flags in support of Ryu.

Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for a save.

Wainwright gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked none in his first career postseason loss.

Puig's RBI triple in the fourth snapped an 0-for-11 skid in the series.

After the first two games in St. Louis were decided by one run, the Dodgers got to Wainwright in the fourth and took a 2-0 lead.

Gonzalez's double down the right-field line scored Mark Ellis, who doubled leading off. With two outs, Puig tripled off the wall in right, scoring Gonzalez.

Puig had struck out seven times before getting his first hit against the Cardinals. He raised his arms and watched the ball sail toward right before starting to charge harder when he realized it wasn't going to be a home run. He ran into third base and clapped his hands before raising them again as the sellout crowd of 53,940 cheered.

"He brings unbelievable energy every day," Ramirez said. "When we spoke to him, he told me, `I got it today,' and he did. He's a great player."

Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay was involved in an apparent miscommunication when the ball hit by Mark Ellis dropped between him and right fielder Carlos Beltran. The Dodgers' first hit, a single by Ramirez to shallow center in the first, dropped between Jay and second baseman Matt Carpenter.

NOTES: Ethier was 0 for 4 with a strikeout. ... Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith, Ron Cey and Steve Garvey - baseball's first 30-homer quartet in 1977 - tossed ceremonial first pitches. That Dodgers team won the NL pennant before losing to the Yankees in six games in the World Series. ... Neither team has hit a home run through the first three games. ... Among the famous faces in attendance were Dustin Hoffman and Ice Cube.

Gasoline prices on the rise

Monday, 14 October 2013 07:39 Published in Local News

St. Louis saw an increase in the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline last week.  

According to GasBuddy.com's daily survey of 983 gas outlets in St. Louis, prices have risen 7.5 cents per gallon in the last seven days. The average per gallon was $3.08 on Sunday.  

The national average fell 1.4 cents per gallon last week to $3.37 per gallon, so St. Louis is still 29 cents lower than the national average.  

Prices on Sunday were 48.8 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and 17.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.

The website reports that with the federal shutdown continuing, there will be less data available this week as the government is not expected to release a weekly report on changes in supply and demand.

Bradford, Rams hand Texans 4th straight loss 38-13

Sunday, 13 October 2013 18:48 Published in Sports

HOUSTON (AP) — The St. Louis Rams had a simple chant in the locker room after Sunday's 38-13 rout of the Houston Texans.

'2-and-0, 2-and-0,' coach Jeff Fisher said his team repeated.

Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes, St. Louis added a score on defense and special teams and the Rams stunned the mistake-prone Texans with a 38-13 win on Sunday to win their second straight after dropping their previous three games.

"I think everyone totally bought in," Bradford said of the turnaround. "I think if you look at the way we've played the past two weeks; it's been a completely different mindset, a completely different attitude."

The Rams (3-3) were up 24-6 early in the third quarter before rookie Daren Bates returned Keshawn Martin's fumble on a kickoff return for a touchdown.

Rookie first-round pick Alec Ogletree pushed the lead to 38-6 when he took an interception by T.J. Yates back 98 yards for a touchdown. Yates was in after Schaub sustained an apparent right ankle injury.

Coach Gary Kubiak didn't have many details on Schaub's injury after the game, saying only: "Matt's got a little bit of everything on that one leg."

Schaub didn't have a turnover after throwing six interceptions, three of them returned for touchdowns in the past three games.

But several other Texans had key gaffes as preseason Super Bowl hopeful Houston (2-4) lost its fourth straight game.

"For the past few weeks the finger has been pointed in one direction a lot," Kubiak said. "But we sprung leaks all over the place today."

The Texans had 95 yards of penalties, lost two fumbles and Yates threw two interceptions. Schaub had 186 yards passing and Yates finished with 98 yards passing.

"We played our absolute worst football the last two weeks and we've got to change it," Houston safety Ed Reed said.

Bradford was 12 of 16 for 117 yards. Rookie Zac Stacy had 18 carries for 79 yards in his second straight start.

"To come out here and play a pretty much complete game was fun," St. Louis defensive end Chris Long said. "Offense and defense were in complete sync."

Brian Quick's 4-yard touchdown reception extended the Rams' lead to 24-6 early in the third quarter.

Rodney McLeod forced the fumble by Martin on the ensuing kickoff and Bates, an undrafted free agent, scooped it up and returned it 11 yards, diving into the end zone for the score.

Schaub was injured on Houston's next drive when he was sacked by Chris Long. Some fans cheered while he was down after the injury, angering Houston's players.

"For them to cheer about something like that, it just shows they have no class," Andre Johnson said.

He was replaced by Yates. Schaub had thrown an interception that was returned for a touchdown in four straight games entering Sunday.

Yates made it five in a row for Houston when his first drive ended with the interception return by Ogletree, who high-stepped his way into the end zone as the home fans serenaded the Texans with boos.

The Rams took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Cory Harkey grabbed a 2-yard touchdown pass from Bradford. Kareem Jackson received a 40-yard penalty for pass interference early in that drive.

The Texans were driving later in the first when Ogletree forced a fumble by rookie DeAndre Hopkins which James Laurinaitis recovered and returned it 43 yards.

The Rams capitalized on the fumble with a 42-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein to push the lead to 10-0 early in the second quarter.

Houston cut the lead to 10-3 with a 20-yard field goal by Randy Bullock.

Another 2-yard pass by Bradford — this one to Lance Kendricks — extended the lead to 17-3. An unnecessary roughness penalty on Brian Cushing for a late hit on Bradford helped that drive.

Houston settled for another field goal just before halftime when Schaub's pass on third down fell incomplete to make it 17-6 at halftime.

About the only highlight for Houston on Sunday was the play of Arian Foster, who finished with 20 carries for 141 yards. He added four catches for 57 yards.

Ben Tate scored Houston's only touchdown on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter.

NOTES: Martin has an injured shoulder. ... Houston S Danieal Manning has a right knee injury, but Kubiak didn't know how severe it was after the game. ... Janoris Jenkins had an interception for the Rams.

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