LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zack Greinke came out shaky against the St. Louis Cardinals, getting in early trouble with the Dodgers' season hanging in the balance.
He faced a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first inning and gave up four straight hits in a two-run third that tied the game.
After that, Greinke was stellar.
He retired 13 consecutive batters and Los Angeles went on to a 6-4 victory Wednesday that trimmed the Cardinals' lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven NL championship series.
"Even in that first inning, bases loaded, no outs," Dodgers infielder Adrian Gonzalez said, "he just knew if he kept making his pitches, he was going to get out of it, and he did. That just shows he's got the whole package."
The Dodgers earned themselves a trip back to St. Louis for Game 6 on Friday night, with ace Clayton Kershaw scheduled to start for them against rookie Michael Wacha.
When those two squared off in Game 2, the Cardinals won 1-0 on an unearned run.
"He's a bright star, that kid," Dodgers utility man Skip Schumaker said of Wacha. "He's an Adam Wainwright in the making, and that's a scary thing."
The Dodgers got a scare in the ninth, when St. Louis scored twice off closer Kenley Jansen before he struck out pinch-hitter Adron Chambers with two on to end it.
"We had a couple of opportunities to do something, and we just couldn't make it happen," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "These guys have done a tremendous job in those exact same situations all season long. You're going to have games where you just can't make it happen, and we've got to figure out a way to get it done the next time we get a chance."