The St. Louis Cardinals got strong pitching and home runs from Matt Holliday and Shane Robinson to top the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2, putting themselves one win away from the World Series.

The play of Tuesday night's game came in the top of the third inning when Holliday - hitless in his 22 previous at-bats at Dodger Stadium - gave St. Louis a 3-0 lead with a two-run blast over the left-field wall.

Earlier that inning, Matt Carpenter had doubled home Daniel Descalso from second base for the Cardinals' first run.

Meanwhile, Cardinals starter Lance Lynn held the Dodgers batters in check for the most part, holding them scoreless for the first three innings before running into trouble in the bottom of the fourth.

The Dodgers narrowed the gap to one run that inning thanks to back-to-back run-scoring singles by Cuban rookie sensation Yasiel Puig and catcher A.J. Ellis, but they squandered scoring chances later in the game with costly double plays and a base running blunder by shortstop Nick Punto.

Lynn was removed in the sixth inning after giving up two runs and with the score 3-2, while Nolasco lasted just four innings and surrendered three runs.

St. Louis got a key insurance run when Robinson homered in the top of the seventh off reliever J.P. Howell, and closer Trevor Rosenthal finished things off in the ninth as the Cardinals took a 3-1 series lead.

The Cardinals also led last year's National League Championship Series 3-1 but their season ended bitterly with three straight lopsided losses to the San Francisco Giants, who went on to win the World Series.

Earlier Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the American League Championship Series with a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. EFE