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.