Cardinals, Dodgers open NLDS with wins

Cardinals, Dodgers open NLDS with wins
October 3, 2013, 9:45 pm
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Beltran HR keys Cards' rout of Pirates in Game 1

ST. LOUIS (AP) Carlos Beltran's three-run homer sparked a seven-run third inning and the St. Louis Cardinals got seven stingy innings from Adam Wainwright, delivering a reality jolt to the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 9-1 rout Thursday in their NL division series opener.

The first eight Cardinals reached safely in the third to chase A.J. Burnett, saddling the right-hander with the second-shortest outing of his career and putting Game 1 out of reach early. A sellout crowd roared early and then settled in for an easy victory.

Lance Lynn (15-10) faces Pirates rookie Gerrit Cole (10-7) in Game 2 Friday.

The Pirates ended a 21-year postseason drought and entered their first best-of-five division series with apparent momentum after beating Cincinnati in the wild-card game Tuesday. They never threatened to rally against the Cardinals' ace and finished with only four hits.

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Kershaw pitches Dodgers past Braves 6-1 in Game 1

ATLANTA (AP) Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers opened the playoffs looking intent on ending that quarter-century drought since their last World Series championship.

For the Atlanta Braves, another dose of October misery.

Kershaw struck out 12 during seven dominant innings, Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and the Dodgers beat the bumbling Braves 6-1 in Game 1 of the NL division series Thursday night.

The big-money Dodgers haven't won a Series title since 1988 - by far their longest dry spell since the franchise moved from Brooklyn to Southern California in 1958.

In an interesting twist, Kershaw was born just a few months before that most recent title. If the left-hander keeps pitching the way he did against Atlanta, the Dodgers might have a chance to go all the way again.

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