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Beltran, Cards top L.A. 3-2 in 13 in NLCS opener

Cardinals’ Carlos Beltran (3) and teammates party following his game-winning hit in the 13th inning after midnight. (Associated Press)
Cardinals’ Carlos Beltran (3) and teammates party following his game-winning hit in the 13th inning after midnight. (Associated Press)
R.B. Fallstrom Associated Press

ST. LOUIS – Carlos Beltran capped his latest scintillating postseason performance with an RBI single in the 13th inning early Saturday that lifted the St. Louis Cardinals over the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 in the N.L. championship series opener.

Beltran hit a tying, two-run double in the third inning, then threw out a runner at the plate from right field in the 10th to keep it even.

Well past midnight at Busch Stadium, Beltran singled into the right-field corner with one out against Kenley Jansen in the 13th to end a game that took 4 hours, 47 minutes. It was the longest postseason game for the Dodgers since the 1916 World Series.

Game 2 is this afternoon.

Pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso singled with one out in the 13th off rookie Chris Withrow and Matt Carpenter walked. Jansen, usually the Dodgers’ closer, relieved and Beltran won it with his hit on a 3-1 count.

Winning pitcher Lance Lynn strengthened his case for a possible Game 4 start with two scoreless innings. Withrow took the loss.

The Dodgers had two on in the ninth, 10th and 11th and came up empty. They stranded 11 overall while going 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. They averaged 6 1/2 runs and batted .333, best ever in an N.L. postseason series, while taking a four-game division series from the Braves.

Neither team had much time to exhale before the next game, scheduled to start 14 1/2 hours after Descalso crossed the plate. It features a marquee pitching matchup – major league ERA leader Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers vs. Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha, who’s flirted with no-hitters his last two starts.

The Dodgers failed to capitalize on Zack Greinke’s season-high 10 strikeouts in eight stingy innings because they couldn’t knock out Joe Kelly.

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