The St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers began a four-game set Thursday, meeting for the first since the 2013 NLCS.
As expected, facing Adam Wainwright, the Dodgers had difficulty getting anything going offensively. Through five innings, the Dodgers’ only base runner was Dee Gordon via a walk. Miguel Rojas ended Wainwright’s no-hitter with a leadoff single in the sixth, but the right-hander continued to hold the Dodgers scoreless.
Wainwright wasn’t the only pitcher to stand out as Josh Beckett had another strong outing. Beckett threw seven shutout innings, struck out four and allowed just four hits. He needed some help from Matt Kemp to keep the game scoreless and although Beckett didn’t receive the win, he managed to lower his ERA to 2.11.
Both the Cardinals and Dodgers are in second place in their respective divisions and given their recent playoff history, Thursday’s game took on the feel of a playoff game for manager Don Mattingly, according to Tony Ciniglio of the LA Daily News:
It kind of felt like a playoff game,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “You don’t feel you can make a mistake or it will cost you.”
Brian Wilson appeared to be in 2013 postseason form as he struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth inning and had better command than what he’s routinely shown this season.
With one out and runners on the corners in the eighth, Justin Turner delivered a pinch-hit RBI single to give the Dodgers the decided edge.
The win was the Dodgers fourth consecutive at home and their record at Chavez Ravine now stands at 19-20. In their last 10 games, they are 8-2 while the San Francisco Giants have hit a skid and are just 3-7, which has allowed the Dodgers to get within two games of the NL West leaders.
Thursday may not have been a playoff game at Dodger Stadium, but with their recent surge, October baseball could again be in the picture for the Dodgers this season.
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