Dodgers-Cardinals Preview

While the Los Angeles Dodgers’ road winning streak rolls on,
Clayton Kershaw continues to dominate his opponents.

The left-hander looks to help the Dodgers to a 16th straight
road victory Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Zack Greinke pitched 6 1-3 solid innings and had an RBI as Los
Angeles (62-49) matched Cincinnati’s 15-game road winning streak
from 1957 with Monday’s 3-2 win at St. Louis. Winners in 32 of 39,
the Dodgers are two wins shy of the NL record set by the 1916 New
York Giants.

“I think we kind of thrive on an us-against-the-stadium
mentality,” catcher A.J. Ellis said. “It really brings out the
best in ourselves.”

The majors’ ERA leader, Kershaw (10-6, 1.87 ERA) is 5-1 with a
1.47 ERA in seven starts. He allowed five hits in eight scoreless
innings, but the Dodgers bullpen imploded in the ninth of
Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to the New York Yankees.

“We’re spoiled having him on our team and on our pitching staff,
because we’re a teammate of somebody who is really, really
special,” Ellis told the Dodgers’ official website. “The fact that
he can come out every single start and reproduce what he does makes
him the best in the league.”

In his last six starts versus St. Louis (65-46), however,
Kershaw is 2-4 with a 5.15 ERA and lost the last two. He allowed
eight runs in 5 2-3 innings during an 8-2 loss at Busch Stadium
last season and gave up four runs in seven innings of a 5-3 home
defeat May 26.

The Dodgers prevailed Monday minus star Hanley Ramirez, who
injured his shoulder while tumbling into the stands to make a catch
in Sunday. The shortstop is batting .361 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs
in 54 games this season.

“Even if this was a 15-day thing, I’d feel OK with it,” manager
Don Mattingly said. “As long as this isn’t something that he
doesn’t play again this year, or he’s out a month.”

“You can always kind of survive short periods of time without
one of your guys.”

Rookie Yasiel Puig is 7 for 14 with five runs scored in
August.

The Dodgers could face a serious challenge from St. Louis
starter Joe Kelly (2-3, 3.10), who has not yielded a run in 14 2-3
innings. The right-hander, 2-0 with a 1.90 ERA in four starts since
joining the rotation last month, gave up three hits and overcame
four walks in six innings of a 13-0 win at Pittsburgh on Thursday
that ended the Cardinals’ seven-game slide.

“The whole time going out there I was just trying to pitch as
best as I could,” said Kelly, who last allowed a run in the third
inning against the Chicago Cubs on July 12. “I just wanted to
compete my butt off and try as hard as I could to help us get that
win.”

Kelly went 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers
in 2012 and gave up two runs and five hits while striking out six
in three innings of relief of a 5-3 loss at Los Angeles on May
25.

The Cardinals averaged 11.0 runs while winning three of the
previous four but were held to single runs in the first and seventh
Monday.

All-Star Carlos Beltran drove in a run and is 9 for 16 with
three RBIs in his last five games. He’s 4 for 19 with seven
strikeouts versus Kershaw.