The Los Angeles Dodgers knocked out Shelby Miller after just two pitches. Then they poured it on against the replacements, bouncing back a night after their franchise-record 15-game road winning streak ended.
”We swung the bats great,” starter Ricky Nolasco said after a 13-4 victory on Wednesday night. ”Everybody was swinging the bats today.”
The good news for the Cardinals: Miller is optimistic he’ll be ready to pitch in five days.
”It feels good,” Miller said. ”I mean, it doesn’t feel good but it’s better than it could be. I’m planning on making my next start.”
Andre Ethier and Skip Schumaker each had three hits and a season-best four RBIs and Carl Crawford had a season-best four hits and a walk. The Dodgers had 18 hits to top their previous best by one, a night losing 5-1 to the Cardinals, and are 16-3 since the All-Star break.
”We don’t even look into that stuff, man,” Jerry Hairston Jr. said of the road streak. ”I know it’s big and we had a lot of things go our way and we know that’s not going to be the norm.
”We’re a confident group, we feel we can get the job done.”
X-rays were negative for the 22-year-old Miller, among the league leaders with a 2.89 ERA while going 11-7 in 22 starts, on what the team described as an elbow contusion. Miller pivoted after the pitch to Crawford with his back to the plate, but couldn’t get his arm out of the way of the liner that bounded into shallow left field for a double.
”It’s not what you want to see on the first batter of the game for any pitcher,” manager Mike Matheny said. ”He’s sore, but it’s good we didn’t have any fracture or break.”
Schumaker and Hairston had two RBIs apiece in a six-run second off Jake Westbrook, the scheduled starter Thursday working on three days’ rest.
Cardinals third-string catcher Rob Johnson got the last out in the Dodgers’ four-run ninth in his second career pitching appearance, striking out Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez.
Nolasco (8-9) opened with four scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the fifth, all of them unearned because of the pitcher’s wild throw to first for a three-base error.
”That one error cost me pretty much,” Nolasco said. ”That’s what that team does, you give them an extra out and they put together four hits in a row like that.”
Rookie Michael Blazek worked out of a bases-loaded jam to finish a scoreless first before the Dodgers took off, sending 10 batters against Westbrook (7-7) in the second.
”Three days rest is sufficient for most people, you want to come in there and do what you can,” Westbrook said. ”The bottom line is I didn’t do that.”
Carlos Martinez, among the Cardinals top pitching prospects, was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to start Thursday against the Dodgers and Hyun-Jin Ryu. The 21-year-old right-hander is 4-2 with a 1.76 ERA in the minors and made his major league debut earlier this year out of the bullpen, with a 5.56 ERA in 11 1-3 innings over 10 appearances.
The 35-year-old Westbrook made his first regular-season relief appearance since April 19, 2004, when he worked seven perfect innings for Cleveland against Detroit. In 4 2-3 innings he gave up nine runs on 13 hits.
A Star Wars-themed night that featured graphically-enhanced images of Cardinals players on the video board, and storm troopers at home plate for the exchange of lineup cards fell flat with Matheny, who said he’d never seen any movies in the series.
”We weren’t a movie-going family,” said Matheny, who recalled a childhood minus cable TV, too, and days spent playing football, baseball and Wiffleball.
Notes: The Dodgers’ Matt Kemp was eligible to come off the DL Tuesday from a left ankle injury but manager Don Mattingly said he’s not ready to sprint and make sudden stops and cuts. … Holliday has grounded into a career-high 25 double plays, by far the most in the majors, and David Freese is among the leaders with 18 after getting victimized in the fourth. Former Cardinal Albert Pujols twice led the league, totaling 29 in 2011. … Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig’s attempt at a leaping catch in the stands was thwarted by a fan who gloved the ball on Matt Adams’ long foul.