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Los Angeles (AFP) – Ryu Hyun-Jin was dominant over seven innings and Yasiel Puig picked the perfect moment to end his slump as Los Angeles shutout St. Louis 3-0 in game three of the NLCS.

Adrian Gonzalez clubbed a RBI single to get the go-ahead run in the fourth inning and Puig had a two-out RBI triple in the same inning as the Dodgers cut the Cardinals’ series lead to two games to one.

“This is one of those games where you come home and you get the momentum back on your side,” said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. “We feel like we are back in the series.”

South Korea’s Ryu was terrific Monday night, allowing just three hits and no runs in seven innings of work for the Dodgers who looked nothing like the wounded bunch that dropped the first two games of the series in St. Louis.

Game four of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday.

Once Mattingly decided Ryu’s night was complete, the bullpen did the rest in front of a sold-out crowd of 53,940 at Dodger Stadium.

“He has pitched big in a lot of big games this year,” Mattingly said of Ryu. “He was aggressive with the fastball and that sets his other pitches up.”

Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright wasn’t so lucky throwing seven innings and allowing six hits and two runs. He struck out five.

Ryu had four strikeouts and just one walk for the Dodgers, which prevented the Cardinals from taking a stranglehold in the series. He didn’t allow his first hit until the fifth inning — a single to Cardinals infielder David Freese.

Ryu, who figures to get some National League rookie of the year award consideration, bounced back from a poor performance in the first round playoff series against Atlanta.

“All I was thinking about was that we were down 2-0,” Ryu said. “I told myself that this could potentially be the last start I ever pitched here this year.

“So I focused from the very first pitch and I just zoned in and fortunately I was able to get a good result out the game.”

Shortstop Hanley Ramirez played through the pain of a hairline fracture in his rib and went two-for-four with an RBI, for the Dodgers who got two runs in the fourth and one in the eighth.

Puig was zero-for-11 with seven strikeouts in the series before blasting his RBI triple that scored Gonzalez in the bottom of the fourth.

The Dodgers recorded nine hits Monday, including two doubles and a triple. Heading into the game they had just three extra base hits in the series.

Wainwright took the loss for the Cardinals, which still have not hit a home run in the series.

“It wasn’t very characteristic of how we played all season,” said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. “We just had a lot of balls in the air tonight that hit the ground that normally don’t. We are a better club than this.”

Cardinals Freese had to leave in the middle of the contest with a right calf injury.

Matheny said it was just a cramp and he thinks Freese will be in the lineup Tuesday.

“I expect him to be ready to go,” he said.


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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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