Tyler O’Neill hit a tiebreaking homer, Cardinals relievers combined for five scoreless innings, and St. Louis salvaged a split of its four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 2-1 win on Thursday.
The Cardinals climbed within three games of the San Diego Padres for the final NL wild-card spot, while the Dodgers fell 2 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants.
O’Neill’s fifth-inning drive off Phil Bickford (3-2), his 25th homer this season, barely cleared the left field wall, inching past the outstretched glove of Steven Souza Jr.
The blast made a winner out of Alex Reyes (6-8), who pitched two scoreless innings in his fifth appearance since being demoted from the closer’s role.
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T.J. McFarland and Luís Garcia combined for two scoreless innings to bridge the gap to Giovanny Gallegos, who earned his sixth save with a perfect ninth.
Neither starter lasted long.
Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin, who was activated before the game, threw 55 pitches in three innings in his first start since July 30. He had been sidelined with right shoulder inflammation.
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Gonsolin allowed Andrew Knizner's RBI double in the second.
Cardinals righty Jake Woodford threw 66 pitches in four innings while making his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Sept. 3. He surrendered Trea Turner’s RBI single in the third.
Turner extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games with a first-inning double. It's the longest streak for a Dodgers player this season.
Dodgers: Recalled RHP Andre Jackson, optioned RHP Mitch White and designated RHP Neftalí Féliz for assignment.
Cardinals: LHP Wade LeBlanc (left elbow) will miss the rest of the season.
Dodgers: LHP Julio Urías (16-3, 3.11 ERA) kicks off a six-game homestand with the first of three against the San Diego Padres and RHP Joe Musgrove (10-8, 2.87) on Friday night. Urías is 2-1 with a 3.23 ERA in 10 career appearances (five starts) against the Padres.
Cardinals: LHP Jon Lester (5-6, 4.89) will start the opener of a pivotal three-game home series against the wild card-contending Cincinnati Reds and RHP Tyler Mahle (11-5, 3.76) on Friday night. Lester has allowed one hit in his last two starts (11 1/3 innings) against the Reds.