LOS ANGELES — Matt Holliday hit the first home run of the National League Championship Series and Shane Robinson added a pinch-hit homer to move the St. Louis Cardinals within one win of the World Series thanks to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night.
St. Louis leads the series three games to one, with three chances to advance to its 19th World Series, which would tie San Francisco for the most among NL teams. The Cardinals lost a 3-1 lead against the Giants in last year’s NLCS.
Game 5 is 4 p.m. Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, and St. Louis would host Games 6 and 7 if necessary.
Holliday’s two-run home run gave St. Louis a 3-0 lead in the third inning and broke his 0-for-13 slide in an offensively challenged series. The teams combined for an NLCS record-low nine runs in the first three games.
Robinson’s home run in the seventh inning, his first postseason hit in 10 career at-bats, accounted for the game’s final run.
Yasiel Puig had two singles and drove in the Dodgers’ first run in a two-run fourth inning off Lance Lynn, who went 5 1/3 innings to beat Los Angeles for the third time in four career starts. Lynn won the 13-inning series opener in relief.
A.J. Ellis also singled home a run for the Dodgers.
Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal got Puig to ground into a double play after Andre Ethier singled to open the ninth, and he recorded his second save of the series.
Hanley Ramirez, playing with a hairline fracture in his left ribcage, struck out three times against Lynn, taking three fastballs in his last at-bat in the fifth inning before leaving the game in top of the seventh.
Daniel Descalso grounded a single to right field, the Cardinals’ first hit off Ricky Nolasco, to open the Cardinals’ three-run third inning. Descalso took second on Lynn’s sacrifice bunt before Matt Carpenter doubled to left-center field to make it 1-0. Carpenter led the majors with 55 doubles in the regular season.
Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis went to his left to field a ground ball and take a hit away from Carlos Beltran for the second out before Holliday hit a 92 mph fastball from Nolasco an estimated 426 feet into the Dodgers’ left field bullpen.
Gonzalez doubled and Andre Ethier walked to open the fourth inning before Puig and A.J. Ellis hit run-scoring singles to make it 3-2. Lynn got pinch hitter Skip Schumaker to ground into an inning-ending double play with runners on first and second.
Nolasco lasted four innings, allowing three runs on three hits.
Lynn allowed two runs on six hits. Seth Maness, Carlos Martinez and Rosenthal pitched a combined 3 2/3 scoreless innings to secure the win.
NOTES: St. Louis 3B David Freese returned to the starting lineup after being pulled in the fifth inning of Game 3 with right calf tightness. He went 0-for-3, leaving him 5-for-29 (.172) with a home run and four RBIs in the postseason. … Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he wavered on using RHP Zack Greinke and LHP Clayton Kershaw on three days’ rest beginning in Game 4 of the series before deciding it “was not the right thing” and staying with Nolasco. … Greinke will oppose Cardinals RHP Joe Kelly in Game 5 on Wednesday, a rematch of the Game 1 starters. Each gave up two runs in the third inning of the Cardinals’ 3-2, 13-inning victory. Greinke struck out 10 in eight innings. … The Dodgers showed a video of Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit, two-run, walk-off home run that beat the Oakland A’s 5-4 in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series in a pregame ceremony. Tuesday was the 25th anniversary of the homer.