LOS ANGELES — Led by a pair of precocious rookies, the Los Angeles Dodgers got themselves right back into the National League 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, an ex-Braves prospect, his first postseason loss and trimmed its deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
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, a former Augusta GreenJacket, 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.
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 only three innings as the first South Korean pitcher to start a playoff game last week.
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.
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.
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.