With their franchise-record road winning streak in the past, the Los Angeles Dodgers are poised to continue their current surge.
The NL West leaders look to bounce back from their first road defeat in a month Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs in the fifth inning and lasted six, but St. Louis (66-46) broke things open with three in the eighth to snap Los Angeles’ 15-game road winning streak with a 5-1 victory Tuesday.
“We weren’t thinking about them, we were thinking about us and what we’re capable of doing,” said St. Louis All-Star Carlos Beltran, who homered and is 11 for 23 with seven extra-base hits in his last six games. “It works better if you just worry about yourself.”
Though the Dodgers (62-50) fell two wins shy of matching the NL record for consecutive road victories by losing away from Chavez Ravine for the first time since July 6, they’ve still won 32 of 40 and hold a five-game lead in the West.
“This just means we’ve got to start a new one (Wednesday),” Kershaw said. “It was a pretty cool thing, for sure. It’s definitely not something to take lightly.”
Carl Crawford had two hits and Adrian Gonzalez recorded the RBI for Los Angeles, which has scored eight runs in four games.
Crawford is 7 for 21 with two doubles this month, and 8 for 21 in his career at Busch Stadium.
Though the wild-card leading Cardinals have won four of six in August and 11 of 13 at home, Los Angeles starter Ricky Nolasco (7-9, 3.78 ERA) has yielded one earned run in 19 2/3 innings to go 2-0 in his last three starts against them.
Pitching for Miami on June 16, he gave up that run and three hits in seven innings of a 7-2 victory over the Cardinals.
Nolasco improved to 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA in five starts for the Dodgers after he allowed three solo homers, one other hit and struck out six in five innings of a 6-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.
“It was a good thing nobody’s on,” Nolasco said. “Three bad pitches and those pitches usually go out of any park. I was able to give us a chance to win.”
Matt Holliday is 11 for 24 with two homers, three doubles and a triple against Nolasco.
St. Louis counters with Shelby Miller (11-7, 2.89 ERA), who is 3-1 in his last five starts despite failing to complete six innings in each of the last two. He got plenty of support in Friday’s 13-3 victory at Cincinnati, and was pleased with his outing despite allowing a three-run homer in the sixth inning.
“That was some of the best stuff I had all year,” Miller said. “I kind of let it get away from me in the sixth inning. I guess I kind of lost my focus, which is something that shouldn’t let happen.”
The right-hander gave up two of his three runs on a homer to Gonzalez in 5 1/3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 5-3 win at Dodger Stadium on May 26.