Dodgers-Cardinals Preview

With their franchise-record road winning streak in the past, the

Los Angeles Dodgers are poised to continue their current surge.

The NL West leaders look to bounce back from their first road

defeat in a month Wednesday night against the St. Louis

Cardinals.

Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs in the fifth inning and lasted

six, but St. Louis (66-46) broke things open with three in the

eighth to snap Los Angeles’ 15-game road winning streak with a 5-1

victory Tuesday.

“We weren’t thinking about them, we were thinking about us and

what we’re capable of doing,” said St. Louis All-Star Carlos

Beltran, who homered and is 11 for 23 with seven extra-base hits in

his last six games. “It works better if you just worry about

yourself.”

Though the Dodgers (62-50) fell two wins shy of matching the NL

record for consecutive road victories by losing away from Chavez

Ravine for the first time since July 6, they’ve still won 32 of 40

and hold a five-game lead in the West.

“This just means we’ve got to start a new one (Wednesday),”

Kershaw said. “It was a pretty cool thing, for sure. It’s

definitely not something to take lightly.”

Carl Crawford had two hits and Adrian Gonzalez recorded the RBI

for Los Angeles, which has scored eight runs in four games.

Crawford is 7 for 21 with two doubles this month, and 8 for 21

in his career at Busch Stadium.

Though the Cardinals have won four of six in August and 11 of 13

at home, Los Angeles starter Ricky Nolasco (7-9, 3.78 ERA) has

yielded one earned run in 19 2-3 innings to go 2-0 in his last

three starts against them.

Pitching for Miami on June 16, he gave up that run and three

hits in seven innings of a 7-2 victory over the Cardinals.

Nolasco improved to 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA in five starts for the

Dodgers after he allowed three solo homers, one other hit and

struck out six in five innings of a 6-4 win over the Chicago Cubs

on Thursday.

“It was a good thing nobody’s on,” Nolasco said. “Three bad

pitches and those pitches usually go out of any park. I was able to

give us a chance to win.”

Matt Holliday is 11 for 24 with two homers, three doubles and a

triple against Nolasco.

St. Louis counters with Shelby Miller (11-7, 2.89 ERA), who is

3-1 in his last five starts despite failing to complete six innings

in each of the last two. He got plenty of support in Friday’s 13-3

victory at Cincinnati, and was pleased with his outing despite

allowing a three-run homer in the sixth inning.

“That was some of the best stuff I had all year,” Miller said.

“I kind of let it get away from me in the sixth inning. I guess I

kind of lost my focus, which is something that shouldn’t let

happen.”

The right-hander gave up two of his three runs on a homer to

Gonzalez in 5 1-3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a

5-3 win at Dodger Stadium on May 26.