Baseball - Holliday homer powers Cardinals to Game Four win

Matt Holliday and the St Louis Cardinals rediscovered their power at the plate in a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers that put them one win away from the World Series.

Reuters
Baseball - Holliday homer powers Cardinals to Game Four win
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St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) hits a two run home run (Reuters)

Holliday busted out of an 0-for-13 slump with a mighty two-run home run that swung the Cardinals to a 3-1 series lead in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series.

"(The at-bat) didn't really last long. One pitch, middle in, I got the barrel to it," Holliday told reporters of his homer that traveled more than 420 feet.

"I had an idea that (Los Angeles starter Ricky Nolasco) wanted to come in so I wanted to get the head out front and was able to do it."

Holliday's decisive blow to left field established a 3-0 lead in the third inning and was the first homer of the series for St Louis.

The Cardinals, who had scored just four total runs combined in the opening three games of the series, added another blast from little-used reserve Shane Robinson in the seventh.

Robinson's solo shot bounced off the top of the left-field wall and caromed over as St Louis built on their slim 3-2 edge.

Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn survived a somewhat shaky outing that saw him allow two runs and walk three batters in 5 1/3 innings.

Lynn was aided by St Louis grabbing a quick lead.

"To get three runs (early) gives you breathing room. It's a good feeling," he said. "I was able to relax a little bit."

After falling behind, Los Angeles hit back in the fourth when they woke up Dodger Stadium with RBI singles from Yasiel Puig and A.J. Ellis.

But having tightened the series with a 3-0 shutout triumph on Monday, the Dodgers were pushed to the brink of elimination with Game Five coming up in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

After much debate on whether the Dodgers should move up their pitching rotation to feature standout Zack Greinke, the team ultimately went with Nolasco, who lasted just four innings.

Hanley Ramirez, who played valiantly through a cracked rib to spark Los Angeles on Monday, struck out three times before being removed from the game in the sixth.

Livewire Puig went 2-for-3 but grounded into a double play in the ninth to end the Dodgers' final chance of a rally.

"The best thought I have is I've got one of the best pitchers in baseball (in Greinke) pitching on Wednesday," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

"If we come out here and play well and get a win, I've probably got the best pitcher in baseball (in Clayton Kershaw) the next day."

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