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Preview: Cardinals And Dodgers, Top 2 National League Teams, Meet Again

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest rivalries in baseball the last couple years has been between the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals. And in terms of postseason success, the Cardinals reign supreme as they’ve eliminated the Dodgers the last two years.

While the drama isn’t quite as big as the postseason, the Cardinals and Dodgers are beginning a four-game series Thursday evening at Chavez Ravine. For the second time in the past week, Dodgers young righty Carlos Frias faces fellow young righty Michael Wacha.

Frias ultimately got the better of Wacha in their last matchup, as the 25 year old threw seven innings, giving up five hits and no earned runs in a 5-1 Dodger victory. Frias has filled in nicely for the injured Dodgers starters this season, as he is 4-2 with a 4.29 ERA in six starts. Additionally, he has given up three earned runs or less in five of the six starts.

While Wacha suffered his first loss of the season at the hands of the Dodgers in his last start, he was nonetheless impressive. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but did not last much longer as he gave up three hits and four earned runs in 5.2 innings.

The key hit he gave up was a three-run homer to Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal. Wacha, who threw 13.2 scoreless innings and beat the Dodgers twice in the 2013 NLCS, is 7-1 this season with a 2.27 ERA.

Center fielder Joc Pederson is swinging a hot bat for the Dodgers, as he has hit a home run in five straight games putting him at 17 for the season, which ranks third in the Majors. The MLB record for most consecutive games with a home run is eight, held by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, among others.

The Dodgers, who went 3-4 on their most recent road trip, are happy to be home as they are 21-7 this season at home. The only better home team this season is the Cardinals (22-7). The four-game series with the Cardinals marks the beginning of a seven-game home stand for the Dodgers, who hold a two game division lead over the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.

Dodgers Lineup

CF: Joc Pederson

C: Yasmani Grandal

1B: Adrian Gonzalez

3B: Justin Turner

RF: Andre Ethier

LF: Alex Guerrero

SS: Jimmy Rollins

2B: Kike Hernandez

P: Carlos Frias

Cardinals Lineup

2B: Kolten Wong

3B: Matt Carpenter

LF: Matt Holdiay

SS: Jhonny Peralta

1B: Mark Reynolds

RF: Jason Heyward

C: Yadier Molina

CF: Jon Jay

P: Michael Wacha

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2015 Sports Spectacular — Chester Pitts

Written by Staff Writer

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