Cardinals, Arizona stay alive in MLB playoffs

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Cardinals, Arizona stay alive in MLB playoffs

ST. LOUIS - David Freese drove in four runs with a homer and a double on Wednesday as St. Louis beat Philadelphia 5-3 to stay alive in the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs.

With the victory the upstart Cardinals knotted their best-of-five National League series with the Phillies at two games apiece.

The Arizona Diamondbacks also forced a game five, downing Milwaukee 10-6 to level their National League series at two games each.

Arizona’s Ryan Roberts hit a grand slam and Chris Young had the first two-homer game in the Diamondbacks’ postseason history to extend the series.

Arizona joined the 1977 Dodgers as the only teams to hit grand slams in consecutive playoff games.

Cardinals pitcher Edwin Jackson settled down after some rough early going and pitched six solid innings in his first post-season start.

Relief pitcher Jason Motte worked a perfect ninth for his second save of the series.

Jackson gave up a triple, a double and a single in the first inning but the Cardinals escaped the frame having surrendered just two runs.

Lance Berkman then doubled in a run in the bottom of the first to narrow the gap to 2-1.

St. Louis seized the lead in the fourth after Phillies starter Roy Oswalt walked Berkman to open the inning then hit Matt Holliday to send him to first.

With one out, Freese’s double scored both to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead. Two innings later Freese added a towering two-run homer to put the Cardinals up 5-2.

“This is what you worked for,” said Freese, who was a high school stand-out in St. Louis and was acquired by the Cardinals after the 2007 season.

“Just to do this in front of the fans of St. Louis and a bunch of friends and family, it’s amazing.”

The Phillies pulled back one run in the eighth, but couldn’t get any closer.

The deciding fifth game will be in Philadelphia on Friday when the Phillies will send game one winner Roy Halladay to the mound against Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter.

“They’re good friends and old teammates, and Carp was really chomping at the bit for this opportunity to pitch against Roy on full rest in a huge game five,” said St. Louis outfielder Matt Holliday.

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