ST. LOUIS — Zack Greinke made himself right at home. Just like the rest of the Los Angeles Dodgers have been doing for almost a month.
Greinke pitched into the seventh inning and raised his average to .405 with an RBI single, helping the Dodgers win their 15th straight on the road with a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night. This is the sixth city during the streak.
“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.”
Nick Punto was productive subbing for injured shortstop Hanley Ramirez, and the Dodgers got an RBI apiece from Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis while matching Cincinnati’s 15-game run in 1957. They’re two wins shy of the NL record set by the 1916 New York Giants.
“They’re playing great ball obviously,” losing pitcher Adam Wainwright said. “I knew that going in. I wanted to end that streak.”
The Detroit Tigers own the major league record with 21 consecutive road wins from 1983-84. Seventeen of them came during their World Series championship season in ’84, tying the 1916 Giants for the single-season mark, according to STATS.
Greinke (9-3) allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings for his 100th career victory, allowing two hits in the third, fourth and fifth but no runs. Paco Rodriguez earned his second career save with a perfect ninth.
Wainwright (13-7) gave up three runs in seven innings and failed in his third straight attempt at winning his 14th, working seven innings in all three of those starts. He remained tied for the league lead in wins with teammate Lance Lynn and regretted a fat pitch on Punto’s double a lot more than Greinke’s hit off a nasty curveball.
Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig had an RBI apiece for the Cardinals, stifled in the opener of a 10-game homestand after totaling 44 runs the previous four games. They’ve lost nine of 12 overall.
“We score 15 runs and he throws three runs up there in seven innings, it’s a good outing,” manager Mike Matheny said of Greinke. “It was just one of those days we couldn’t get much going.”
Matheny wasn’t happy about Beltran’s first sacrifice bunt of the season after the first two batters reached in the seventh.
“Sometimes we put them on, sometimes we do it on our own,” Matheny said.
Punto doubled with two outs in the seventh ahead of Greinke’s single that gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. His relay to the plate preserved a one-run lead in the fifth and denied David Freese of an RBI double, and he made nice defensive plays to end the seventh and eighth.
He’s 6 for 13 (.462) against the Cardinals.
Matt Carpenter doubled off the right-field wall in the first inning and took third when Yasiel Puig fumbled the ball, then sprinted home on Beltran’s groundout when Punto sailed a throw over catcher A.J. Ellis’ head.
Running shoe-top catches by Puig in right field and Ethier in center helped Greinke strand three Cardinals in a scoreless third. St. Louis came up empty again in the fourth after opening with singles by Jon Jay and Tony Cruz, and Punto’s relay in the fifth caught Allen Craig at the plate on Freese’s double to right.
“It was just a perfect relay and (Ellis) did a good job tagging,” Greinke said. “I thought it was a good decision to send him and everything had to be right, and it was.”
The first three Dodgers reached in the fourth, with Adrian Gonzalez stopping at third on Puig’s double off the right-field wall and then scoring on Ethier’s broken-bat single. Puig scored the go-ahead run when Ellis beat the relay on a potential double-play ball.
Wainwright had retired eight in a row before Punto doubled to the opposite-field in left with two outs in the seventh and Greinke lofted a single that made it 3-1. NOTES: Major league ERA leader Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 1.87) faces Cardinals fifth starter Joe Kelly (2-3, 3.10) on Tuesday. Kershaw was the NL pitcher of the month in July going 4-1 with a 1.34 ERA, while Kelly has thrown 14 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings for the Cardinals in a bid to become more than just an occasional fifth starter. … The Dodgers are 8-1 in Greinke’s last nine starts and Greinke is 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA in four career starts in St. Louis.