They clung to a one-run lead going into the eighth inning Friday, Brett Anderson pitching his finest game as a Dodger, when they were undone by a walk, two infield hits and two sacrifices.
Not exactly a mighty display of power by the Cardinals, but good enough for them to scratch out a 2-1 victory before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 44,649.
It doesn’t seem to matter how they do it, the Cardinals just find a way to beat the Dodgers, who are now 1-4 against St. Louis this season. It's an outcome they should be used to after the Cardinals bounced them out of the playoffs in each of the last two postseasons.
The Dodgers could do nothing with right-hander Carlos Martinez after they scratched together their lone run in the second. He pitched himself into his own trouble in that inning, giving up a leadoff walk to Alberto Callaspo and singles to Scott Schebler -- in his first major-league at-bat -- and Enrique Hernandez to load the bases.
Anderson struck out, but Joc Pederson walked to force in the Dodgers' only run. Jimmy Rollins bounced into a double play to end the threat.
After that, the Dodgers were as quiet as the four skunks huddled under the photo well next to the St. Louis dugout. Martinez went seven innings, giving up only three hits, walking four and striking out a career-high 11. He held the Dodgers scoreless in the seven innings of his last start.
The run forced in by the walk in the second inning was the only one Martinez has surrendered in his last four starts (28 1/3 innings).
Still, Anderson was pitching so well, for most of the night it appeared one run might be enough. The left-hander held the Cards scoreless on two hits entering the eighth. Then it seemed that everything that could go wrong for him did go wrong.
He wasn’t a complete victim, having walked Yadier Molina on four pitches to start the inning. But then Jason Heyward hit a bouncer up the middle that Rollins fielded and tried to flip backhanded to Hernandez, who was covering second base. Instead the off-balanced toss went behind him and both runners were safe.
Pinch-hitter Tony Cruz put down a successful sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Then with the Dodgers playing in a modified shift, Kolten Wong hit a slow tapper to Adrian Gonzalez at first base. Gonzalez charged and looked like he wanted to go home, but the throw would likely have been late. Hernandez was not at first yet, and Gonzalez ended up simply holding onto the ball as pinch-runner Pete Zozma scored and Hayward took third.
Matt Carpenter lifted a fly to fairly deep right field and Heyward tagged and scored, Ethier throwing to second. And that was your game-winning run.