Cardinals 7 Brewers 1
St. Louis bounced back after Thursday's loss to forge another lead in the NLCS, taking a 3-2 series edge back to Milwaukee, where they can eliminate the Brewers with a game six victory.
After Yadier Molina had doubled in Lance Berkman with the game's first run, Nick Punto lined out to third, leaving David Freese on thrid and Molina on second with two outs and Garcia coming to the plate. The 25-year-old lefty sent a hot smash between the legs of Milwaukee third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr., scoring both Freese and Molina, who were off on contact. The play was ruled an fielding error, though the ball never touched Hairston's glove, taking a low hop under it after skidding off the lip of the infield grass. A clean bounce would probably have resulted in Garcia being thrown out at first, ending the inning. The official scorer may have been too hard on Hairston; ruling the play a hit rather than an error would have given Garcia a couple of RBI.
In the fourth, Garcia did manage to get an RBI, on his ground out to short after LaRussa made the unorthodox move of having #8 hitter Punto sacrifice with one out and Freese on second and Molina on first. Punto laid down a perfect bunt to advance the runners to second and third, and Garcia laid the bat on the ball, plating Freese and putting the Cardinals ahead 4-0.
In the fifth, after Garcia had allowed the Brewers to score a run with two out, two aboard and Ryan Braun heading to the dish, LaRussa lifted his starter for reliever Octavio Dotel, who struck out Braun swinging on a series of low, outside sliders.
Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina each collected three hits, a double and two singles apeice. Holliday drove in a pair of runs, while Molina scored once and drove in one.
Game six is Sunday in Milwaukee, at 4:05 pm EDT. St. Louis sends Edwin Jackson to the mound to face Shaun Marcum in a rematch of game two starters.
Friday was a travel day for the American Leaguers. The best-of-seven championship series resumes Saturday in Arlington, TX, at 8:05 pm EDT. with the Rangers holding a 3-2 edge over the Tigers.