Carl Crawford #25 of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides safely into third base against David Freese #23 of the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on August 8, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri
With strong performances from Hyun-Jin Ryu and A.J. Ellis, the Dodgers took down the Cardinals in a 5-1 victory, giving them seven wins on their eight-game road trip.
Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven innings, with only one run scoring, unearned on a freak error, with five hits and seven strikeouts. Ryu was more consistent against the Cardinals than he was against the Cubs when he gave up 11 hits over 5.1 innings, yet he won both games.
In the fourth, David Freese hit a routine line drive to center field, advancing Matt Holliday to third base. Ethier lobbed it back into the infield but the ball landed in between Mark Ellis and Dee Gordon, bounced off of second and let Holliday score. Ethier was charged with an error on the frustrating, freak play.
The Dodgers put one on the board in the third inning, after back-to-back singles at the top of the order from Carl Crawford and Mark Ellis. Crawford ran aggressively to reach third base on Ellis' single, putting him in position to score as Adrian Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to left field.
With the score tied at 1-1, Adrian Gonzalez walked and Yasiel Puig singled as A.J. Ellis came up to bat with two outs. He provided the winning runs on a home run to the left-center bullpen, making the game 4-1 in the fifth. Jerry Hairston Jr. then provided the final insurance run with an RBI-single to score A.J. Ellis in the eighth inning.
A.J. Ellis provided the Dodgers with a bulk of the offense, finishing the game 2-3 with three RBI, two runs scored and a walk. Yasiel Puig continued to be awesome, going 3-5 with two singles and triple. On the road trip he hit .480 with four extra-base hits, seven walks and seven strikeouts.
Out of the Dodger bullpen, Paco Rodriguez and Kenley Jansen dominated again. Each threw a scoreless inning and gave up one hit, but Jansen struck out the first two batters he faced. He had retired 27 straight batters with 15 strikeouts dating back to July 23rd, for an unofficial, but still awesome, perfect game.
In the last two games, the Dodgers outscored the Cards 18-5, and took three out of four games in the series after sweeping a four-game series in Chicago. The 7-1 road trip makes them 17-3 since the All-Star Break with a 5.5 game lead over the second-place Diamondbacks in the NL West.
St. Louis is, at this point, practically a shoe-in for the playoffs, and those are the teams the Dodgers had not been tested against when they got hot in the first half. After taking three of four from both the Reds and the Cardinals the Dodgers are proving their worth against playoff-bound teams.
The Dodgers head home to face another potential playoff team in the Tampa Bay Rays. Chris Capuano will take the mound on Friday, with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw manning the Saturday and Sunday games.
Tweets From #Dodgers Nation:
A healthy Crawford is a fast Crawford.
Crawford with the wheels! #Dodgers
— Neto (@Caughtbylightin) August 9, 2013
Yeah, I don't know what happened between Ethier, Ellis, Gordon there either.
What just happened? Looked like a little league for a second there. 1-1. #Dodgers
— Holden Kim (@holdenkim) August 9, 2013
— Adam Cadena (@NinjaCadeens) August 9, 2013
Get 'em, Paco! #Dodgers
— Grim Jack (@thebarjack) August 9, 2013
— Bleed_Blue23 (@The_Jeffreyd23) August 9, 2013
I'm glad Paco Rodriguez is getting some love. He's been huge for us out the pen #Dodgers
— Julian Osorio (@JDUV31) August 9, 2013
Yeah, where is the A.J. Ellis "Walk" bobblehead at?!
— Bree Anna (@Ms_Breee) August 9, 2013
Dodgers are home for a few games, can't wait to listen to Vinny again!
Steve Lyons has terrible jokes aha #dodgers
— Bubba Watson (@eddiehellachill) August 9, 2013
When Puig tripled it was like, "Whoa! Actually, that's just Puig doing his thing."
Yasiel is really....really...fast. #Dodgers
— Nick Grodotzke (@nickgrodo) August 9, 2013
— Brandi Rivera (@truebluebr) August 9, 2013
Even with their amazing 17-3 record since the All-Star Break, this team is still crushing expectations!
Honestly I was prepared for a split. This is awesome. #Dodgers
— Ron Ramos (@DodgerRon35) August 9, 2013