ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Beltran, who tied the game in the third inning with a two-run double, won it more than three hours later with a one-out, run-scoring single in the 13th inning to give the Cardinals a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League championship series Friday night/Saturday morning at Busch Stadium.
Beltran, who also threw out a runner at home in the 10th inning, singled off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to score Daniel Descalso from second base with the winning run to end the 4 hour 47 minute struggle.
Pinch hitter Descalso blooped a single to center off losing pitcher Chris Withrow with one out in the 13th and Matt Carpenter drew his second important walk of the game.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly switched to Jansen at this point and Jansen fell behind Beltran at 3-1 before the Cardinals' switch hitter, who has 34 runs batted in 39 career postseason games and nine in six games this years, singled to right. The Dodgers had no play at home.
Lance Lynn, the seventh Cardinals pitcher, gained the win with two scoreless innings of relief.
Game 2 of the series will be at 3:07 p.m. later today, with rookie Michael Wacha opposing Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
Axford, Lynn pitch out of jams
Cardinals reliever John Axford fanned former Cardinal Nick Punto with two on and two out in the 11th inning Friday night and the Cardinals stranded Matt Carpenter after a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning.
The National League championship series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers went to the 13th tied at 2-2, with Lance Lynn having entered in relief for the Cardinals in the 12th.
As in the 10th, the Cardinals walked Hanley Ramirez intentionally in front of reserve Michael Young. As in the 10th, the Cardinals got a double play on Young to end the inning, this one started by shortstop Pete Kozma.
Beltran cuts down runner at plate
Right fielder Carlos Beltran's strong throw and a sure tag by catcher Yadier Molina as he was being barreled into kept the Cardinals tied, 2-2, with the Los Angeles Dodgers after 10 innings Friday night.
With one out in the 10th, Mark Ellis sent a liner to right center which skipped past center fielder Jon Jay, who may not have taken the most direct route. Ellis wound up at third with a triple.
The Cardinals walked Hanley Ramirez intentionally to pitch to Michael Young, a late-game replacement. Young sent a fly ball to medium right center where Jay, who does not have a strong arm, and Beltran converged. Beltran took charge and rifled a one-hop throw home where Molina had time to grab the hop and then absorb Ellis' body block as the Cardinals completed the double play.
Righthander John Axford pitched the 11th for the Cardinals, who failed to score after Matt Carpenter's leadoff single in their half of the inning.
Lance Lynn took the mound for the Cardinals in the top of the 12th.
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