Dodgers can't master Michael Wacha this time, fall 7-1 to Cardinals

Dodgers can't master Michael Wacha this time, fall 7-1 to Cardinals
Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha improved to 8-1 on the season and lowered his earned-run average to 2.18 in a 7-1 win over the Dodgers on Thursday night. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Once was nice, but beating Michael Wacha two starts in a row might just have been asking a lot of the Dodgers.

It was Thursday night, the Dodgers going rather quietly to Wacha in a 7-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 45,058.

The Cardinals, who have eliminated the Dodgers in the last two postseasons, are now 3-1 this season against L.A.

In Wacha's last start in St. Louis, the Dodgers handed him his only loss of the season. This time out, there never was much suspense.


Of course, the Dodgers did not get to their homes from Denver until around 4:30 a.m., so you can excuse them a tad if they were less than bouncy.

They actually managed seven hits against Wacha (8-1) in his seven innings, just none that came at the particularly right time. Otherwise, Wacha was pretty much in control all night. He did not walk a batter, struck out five and lowered his ERA to 2.18.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals hardly had the same difficulty with Carlos Frias as they did when he beat Wacha in St. Louis. In that game, Frias went seven strong innings, giving up just one run on five hits.

It was a different tale back at Dodger Stadium. Frias gave up five runs (three earned) on 10 hits and three walks (one intentional) in his 6 2/3 innings. He never seemed particularly sharp in this outing.

Frias gave up two runs in the third inning, helped along by Justin Turner’s error, with an RBI single by Jhonny Peralta and a bloop hit by Mark Reynolds.

The Dodgers were still down only 2-0 going into the fifth inning, when the Cardinals jumped on Frias for three more runs. Then just for fun, they added two more in the eighth, Alex Guerrero again misplaying a pair of drives to left.

The Dodgers’ only run came in the sixth inning when they loaded the bases with one out on singles by Adrian Gonzalez, Turner and Andre Ethier. Guerrero scored Gonzalez with a sacrifice fly before Jimmy Rollins bounced out to end the rally.

Joc Pederson's consecutive games with a home run ended at five. He thought he had another in the third inning, standing at the plate a moment to admire his blast that ended up bouncing off the left-field wall.