The St. Louis Cardinals beat the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 in another pressure-packed pitchers' duel to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series on Saturday.
After holding the Dodgers scoreless for the last 10 innings of a 3-2, 13-inning win in Friday's opening game, St. Louis stifled them again as rookie starter Michael Wacha and four relievers combined on a five-hit shutout to extend the streak and their lead in the series.
The only run was scored in the fifth inning when David Freese crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly to left by Jon Jay.
Freese led off with a double into the left-field corner and with one out advanced to third on a passed ball by Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis. He scored the unearned run on Jay's fly, well ahead of left fielder Carl Crawford's errant throw.
The Dodgers answered with a serious threat in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with one out. But Wacha rose to the challenge and struck out Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe to end the inning and the 22-year-old skipped off the mound in delight.
Los Angeles starter Clayton Kershaw was a hard-luck loser, going six innings and allowing just two hits, one unearned run, one walk and five strikeouts.
The Cardinals had only four baserunners, but their pitchers made the meager offense stand up, combining to strike out 13 batters, including the last five Dodgers that came to the plate.
The series shifts to Los Angeles for Game Three scheduled to be played on Monday.