Dodgers-Cardinals Preview

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.