LOS ANGELES - Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig flipped his bat away, raised both of his arms and walked out of the batter's box. Only when the ball hit the fence and bounced past Cardinals rightfielder Carlos Beltran did Puig run at full speed.
Had he hustled, he might have had an inside-the-park homer, and he was stranded at third. Nevertheless, Puig's run-scoring triple in the fourth and single in the seventh Monday night helped turn his fortunes in the NLCS.
Most popular baseball stories
Puig had gone 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts in the NLCS before his stand-up triple, and he had been dropped from cleanup to sixth in the batting order. He had never started a major-league game hitting below fifth.
"He's still 22," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before the game. "He doesn't have a half a year in the big leagues yet. This is still a young, talented kid that's still growing. I think that's one thing we always have to kind of keep an eye on."
Cardinals third baseman David Freese left the game in the fifth inning with right calf tightness. He's day-to-day.
Freese singled to lead off the fifth and immediately was checked out by trainers, though he remained in the game. He was pulled for Daniel Descalso after running to second base on a single by Matt Adams.
Freese, the 2011 NLCS and World Series MVP, is 2-for-10 (.200) in this NLCS, including a double and a run scored.
No batter, no batter
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Cardinals' .134 average through two games is the lowest for a team up 2-0 to begin a postseason series . . . For the first time in NLCS play, both teams went without a homer in the first two games.