Cards struggle to find clutch hits, fall to Dodgers 3-1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw continues to be not only consistent, but dominant for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The left-hander struck out nine in seven innings and notched his 11th win of the season as the Dodgers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 Tuesday night.
Kershaw (11-2) — who allowed only one run on four hits — has gone at least six innings in all 20 starts this season. For as strong as that is, what he has done at Dodger Stadium has been even better.
The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner is unbeaten in 21 straight regular-season starts at home dating to last season, going 10-0 with a 2.28 earned run average during that span.
“There are just a lot of things that make it a great place to play,” said Kershaw, who is 8-0 at Chavez Ravine this season. “I think every team feels comfortable playing at home but there’s something different about this one.”
By winning the first two against the Cardinals, the Dodgers have taken 15 of 19 series on their home field and lead the majors with a 45-15 mark at home.
Once that third inning started, he got into a rhythm. He was really good. He really corralled those first couple innings where it didn’t feel like he was in synch.
Kershaw allowed the Cardinals to get their leadoff hitter aboard the first three innings and scored first when Matt Carpenter’s single drove in Paul DeJong. He settled down though after allowing Dexter Fowler to begin the third with a single, retiring 15 of the last 16 hitters he faced, including 13 straight at one point.
“It seemed like once that third inning hit he got into a rhythm and his tempo picked up. He was really good,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It seemed like he changed speeds on his slider and it had really good depth. Just efficient.”
Kershaw got some help from his defense in the seventh with the Dodgers hanging on to a 2-1 lead. Joc Pederson made a running catch in right field to rob Andrew Knizner of a possible extra-base hit and potential tying RBI to end the frame.
“That was a huge play. When you see a guy with your back to you going with that much speed you feel like it is going into the gap and it is tied,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said.
The Dodgers’ bullpen pitched shutout ball in the final two innings, but not without some drama. The Cardinals had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth, but Pedro Baez struck out DeJong.
Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth to earn his 26th save.
Mikolas: "I don't know where we're at in the standings. I have to Google that. … There's still lots and lots of season left. … I think we're going to come out pretty good on the other side." #TimeToFly pic.twitter.com/xa3SHDBol5
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) August 7, 2019
Justin Turner had two hits, including a double in the third inning that plated Pederson with what proved to be the go-ahead run in the third inning. Pederson led off the inning with a single.
Los Angeles tied it in the bottom of the second when Kristopher Negrón’s bloop single to center drove in Corey Seager, who started off the frame with a double.
Los Angeles extended its lead to 3-1 in the seventh when Max Muncy’s single brought in Edwin Rios.
Miles Mikolas (7-12) went 6 2/3 innings and surrendered two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts. The Cardinals have dropped four straight and five of seven.
“You had two guys that pitched very well,” Shildt said. “We came up short. We weren’t able to get the big hit and couldn’t do much with runners in scoring position.”
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES
The Dodgers had a seven-game homer streak snapped. … Negrón is 9 for 23 (.391) with two home runs and six RBIs in seven games since joining the Dodgers, who acquired him from Seattle on July 28. … Cardinals CF Dexter Fowler, who came into the game 1 for 23 leading off this season, went 2 for 4.
Dodgers: RHP Ross Stripling (right biceps tendinitis) was slated to begin a rehab assignment Tuesday, but that has been delayed due to neck soreness. He will resume throwing sometime the next couple days. … LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (neck soreness) is on track to come off the injured list Sunday and start the series finale against Arizona.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina (thumb) was in St. Louis to be evaluated before continuing his rehab assignment at Double-A Springfield on Thursday. Molina homered during Monday’s game for Triple-A Memphis.
Cardinals: Burbank native Jack Flaherty (5-6, 3.93 ERA) makes his second career start at Dodger Stadium. The right-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning last year before it was broken up by a Joc Pederson homer.
Dodgers: Dustin May (0-1, 4.76) makes his second major league start. The right-hander went 5 2/3 innings against San Diego on Aug. 2 and allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits.