Dodgers make earth move for Cardinals in 13-2 blowout
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It must have felt like an out-of-body experience. It was the Dodgers, offensive juggernaut. A team to fear.
Runs came everywhere, from most everyone. Players crossed the plate like it was an easy habit. Balls flew over the wall, off defenders, on line drives into the gap.
After five innings, the Dodgers had scored 11 times. With Clayton Kershaw on the mound throwing blanks, it was overkill.
The Cardinals looked like a team that could have used the Little League mercy rule, ultimately falling, 13-2, Tuesday in St. Louis.
It was the most runs the Dodgers had scored since a 15-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins on June 27, the day the club declared bankruptcy. Which a Frank McCourt attorney actually said proved the club wasn’t bothered by the team’s financial troubles.
This time, in the sixth inning, Dodgers announcer Charley Steiner found another motivation for the offensive outburst. ‘Every time there’s a 5.8 earthquake in Virginia, the Dodgers score at least 11 runs,’ Steiner said.
The offensive showcase was led by catcher Rod Barajas, who hit two home runs and drove in four runs, and Matt Kemp, who hit his career-high 29th home run and drove in three runs.
The Cardinals threw up the white flag, using infielder Skip Schumaker to pitch the ninth inning. He struck out Trent Oeltjen before Aaron Miles hit the Dodgers’ fourth home run of the game, a two-run shot.
Kemp hit his three-run homer in the first inning after Justin Sellers singled and James Loney walked, and the way Kershaw has been pitching, the game was over before the Cardinals batted.
The Dodgers kept after right-hander Kyle Lohse in the second, jumping out to a 7-0 lead. Sellers doubled in one run, Loney singled in another and Juan Rivera doubled in two runs. It was an official rout.
Barajas hit a home run in the third inning, and after a walk and a Rafael Furcal error, hit a three-run homer in the fifth. Barajas has 14 home runs, second on the team.
Meanwhile, Kershaw was dealing in the hot, humid St. Louis night.
He threw six scoreless innings, giving up six hits and walking two. He struck out eight to increase his National League-leading total to 207. He became the first National League pitcher since Dwight Gooden to have consecutive seasons of 200 strikeouts before their 24th birthday.
Kershaw (16-5) lowered his earned-run average to 2.51.
Blake Hawksworth tried to pick up the three-inning save, but wore down in the ninth and allowed the Cardinals to score two runs and avoid a shutout.
-- Steve Dilbeck