It took the Dodgers five games to hit a home run in the N.L. championship series. Once Adrian Gonzalez powered up for the first one, their dormant offense broke loose.
Gonzalez homered twice and Zack Greinke came through with the clutch performance Los Angeles needed in a 6-4 victory over the visiting Cardinals on Wednesday that trimmed St. Louis' lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven playoff.
"Guys weren't ready to lose today," said Carl Crawford, who also went deep to help the Dodgers save their season.
Los Angeles held on in the ninth, when St. Louis scored twice off closer Kenley Jansen before he struck out pinch-hitter Adron Chambers with two on to end it.
The series shifts back to St. Louis for Game 6 on Friday night, with ace Clayton Kershaw scheduled to start for Los Angeles against rookie Michael Wacha.
When those two squared off in Game 2, the Cardinals won 1-0 on an unearned run.
"We've kind of become America's team because everyone wants to see a seventh game," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Probably even the fans in St. Louis would like to see a seventh game, so I figure that everybody's for us to win on Friday night."
The Cardinals also led last year's NLCS 3-1 before losing three straight games to the eventual World Series champion Giants.
"We're looking to do the same thing," Gonzalez said.
Desperate to avoid elimination, the Dodgers brought in some Hollywood star power for pregame introductions. Will Ferrell announced their lineup and lent a comic spin to each player's name, capping it by introducing Greinke as "today's winning pitcher."
Ferrell knew what he was talking about.
Greinke got into a bases-loaded jam with none out in the first but escaped with no damage. From there, he pitched seven strong innings and even delivered an RBI single.
"That was big. I was real nervous out there with that situation," Greinke said.
A.J. Ellis also homered at Dodger Stadium, where it is tougher to clear the fences in the heavy night air.
Helped by playing in 82-degree heat on a sunny afternoon, the Dodgers rediscovered their power stroke just in time to extend the series. They hit .274 in three games at home after batting .184 during the first two games in St. Louis.
"It was just one of those days that we were a little better, got some runs, good feeling," Mattingly said.
Tigers 7, Red Sox 3: Austin Jackson was dropped from first to eighth in the batting order, and suddenly the Boston Red Sox couldn't get him out.
A revitalized Jackson delivered in manager Jim Leyland's revamped lineup as host Detroit built a big lead and held on this time, beating Boston to even the A.L. championship series at two games apiece.
Torii Hunter had a two-run double and Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs after Leyland dropped the slumping Jackson to eighth in the order and moved almost everyone else up a place after the Tigers' 1-0 loss in Game 3. Jackson drew a bases-loaded walk off Jake Peavy for the first run of Detroit's five-run second inning.
"I think it just helped me relax," Jackson said. "That was the goal. To get me to relax a little, be patient get a good pitch and let the rest take care of itself."
Doug Fister allowed one run in six innings, and after blowing a 5-0 lead in Game 2, Detroit kept the Red Sox at bay Wednesday.
Game 5 is Thursday night in Detroit. The Tigers' Anibal Sanchez faces Boston's Jon Lester in a rematch of Game 1, which was won by Detroit 1-0.
Jackson finished with two singles and two walks. Jacoby Ellsbury had four hits for the Red Sox, finishing a homer shy of the cycle.
The Tigers lost Games 2 and 3, wasting gems by Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Jackson was 3 for 33 with 18 strikeouts in the postseason before Wednesday, and although Leyland left him in the lineup, he changed the batting order. Jackson hit eighth, and with others moving up a spot, it made for an odd-looking order. Hunter hit leadoff for the first time since 1999, and Cabrera was second for only the third time in his career -- first since 2004.
"That was pretty good. He switched things up, kinda shake it up a little bit," Hunter said. "It gave us a different mindset. Miggy hitting second, me leading off. It gave us a different mindset to make things happen."
Angels: The team hired Don Baylor as its hitting coach. He replaces Jim Eppard, who wasn't retained by manager Mike Scioscia. Baylor, 64, had been Arizona's hitting coach for the past three years. Baylor won the American League MVP award while playing for the Angels in 1979.