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Dodgers closing in on Giants in NL West after win over Cardinals, 1-0

BaseballProfessional BaseballLos Angeles DodgersSt. Louis CardinalsJuan UribeAllen CraigJhonny Peralta
#Dodgers find themselves 2.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West after 1-0 win over Cardinals

The Dodgers reached the halfway point to their season Thursday, neither as good as they originally hoped nor as bad as they once feared.

After 81 games, the Dodgers (45-36) may not lead the National League West, but they remain in very comfortable striking distance of the lead.

They began the night three games back of the Giants in the NL West and then went out and edged the Cardinals, 1-0, before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 48,264.

The Dodgers got a lift from the return of Juan Uribe, another strong starting effort from Josh Beckett, one inning of perfect relief from Brian Wilson on his bobblehead night and a game-winning pinch hit from Justin Turner to overcome an outstanding effort by Cardinal right-hander Adam Wainwright.

Wainwright started off the game like he wanted to join the recent no-hit parade. He held the Dodgers without a hit until Miguel Rojas led off the bottom of the sixth with a clean single to left. One out later, Dee Gordon blooped a hit to left, but the would-be rally ended quickly when Yasiel Puig bounced into a double play.

If Beckett was unable to match Wainwright’s no-hit bid, he was able to hold the Cardinals scoreless.

Beckett went seven innings, holding the Cardinals without a run on four hits and two walks. He did need, however, some sterling defensive plays behind him.

Rojas made a leaping, one-handed stab of ex-Dodger Mark Ellis’ line drive in the third, but it was a pair of defensive plays in the seventh that really saved him.

Gordon made an excellent stop of a drive in the hole between second and short on a Yadier Molina hard-hit bouncer, then spung in the air and fired a one-hopper nabbed by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

That play loomed even bigger when, with two outs, Allen Craig doubled just beyond the glove of Puig in right. Jon Jay then lined a hit to left. Matt Kemp charged, fielded the ball on a hop, and as Craig rounded third, fired home.

The throw was on line and catcher Drew Butera tagged out a sliding Craig just before his hand touched the plate. The Cardinals requested the play be reviewed, but the original call was upheld.

The Dodgers finally scratched out a run against Wainwright (10-4) in the eighth after Uribe -- who had struck out in his first two at-bats after being activated from the disabled list prior to the game -- singled sharply to center.

A Butera bunt sacrificed him to second before Rojas beat out an infield hit nicely stopped by shortstop Jhonny Peralta, which sent Uribe to third. Turner then hit for Wilson (1-2) and lined a hit to left to score Uribe.

Kenley Jansen came in to pitch the ninth and gave up a one-out single to Matt Adams. He promptly broke to steal second, and had it stolen but popped briefly off the bag and Rojas -- completing an excellent all-around game -- tagged him out. Jansen got Peralta to fly out to end it and capture his 24th save.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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