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Lineup breakdown: Dodgers-Cardinals, Game 6

A look at Friday's starting lineups for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series between the Dodgers and the Cardinals:


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Hanley Ramirez's fractured left rib will sideline the Dodgers slugger for the second time this series. Ramirez had only been able to play six innings in each of the past two contests. Nick Punto takes over at shortstop, and he'll bat eighth.

A suddenly red-hot Yasiel Puig (5-for-9 in the last three games) will bat cleanup, while Adrian Gonzalez, coming off his two-homer Game 5, slides into Ramirez's vacated No. 3 spot. Andre Ethier (microfracture in lower left leg) remains in the lineup, batting fifth.

The Dodgers hitters struggled mightily against Michael Wacha, the Cardinals' Game 6 starter, in Game 2, also without Ramirez. But this time around, they won't have to battle any Busch Stadium shadows -- only Wacha's filthy three-pitch arsenal.

1. Carl Crawford, LF
2. Mark Ellis, 2B
3. Gonzalez, 1B
4. Puig, RF
5. Ethier, CF
6. Juan Uribe, 3B
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Punto, SS
9. Clayton Kershaw, LHP


St. Louis manager Mike Matheny will start Shane Robinson in center field over Jon Jay, who has struggled both defensively and against left-handed pitching. Catcher Yadier Molina slides into the cleanup spot, with Matt Adams dropping to No. 6 in the order -- as he often does against left-handers.

The Cardinals have struggled mightily this year against southpaws, and Kershaw offers the stiffest test possible. During the regular season, St. Louis hit .238 against lefties, compared with a .280 mark against righties. Including the playoffs, the Cards are just 20-25 when a left-handed pitcher starts against them.

The one Cardinals hitter who has had the most success against Kershaw is shortstop Pete Kozma. Typically in the lineup for his defense, Kozma is 4-for-7 with three doubles against the NL Cy Young Award favorite.

1. Matt Carpenter, 2B
2. Carlos Beltran, RF
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Molina, C
5. David Freese, 3B
6. Adams, 1B
7. Robinson, CF
8. Kozma, SS
9. Wacha, RHP

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals