The Dodgers’ mighty unbeaten road streak came to a quiet end Tuesday with … ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound?
Well, of course. If you expected them to roll out a bunch of runs for Kershaw, then you haven’t been paying close attention to the Dodgers’ season.
The Dodgers’ club-record road winning streak ended at 15 consecutive games when they were downed, 5-1, by the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Kershaw, just named the National League pitcher of the month for July, took the loss to drop his record to 10-7. Now maybe you’re wondering how someone who leads the majors in earned-run average (1.91), WHIP (0.88) and is third in strikeouts (171), could have such a comparatively ordinary record.
Because the Dodgers won’t score for him!
The one run they managed Tuesday was actually one more than they scored for him in his last start. And it’s not like some recent phenomenon.
There are 90 major-league starting pitchers who average more run support than Kershaw. There are four who get less.
The Dodgers are scoring an average of only 3.0 runs per Kershaw start. Poor Chris Sale of the White Sox holds the bottom spot with an average of 2.43 runs a start.
Maybe the Dodgers relax with their ace one the mound, maybe it’s just one of those things. But they seldom offer much offensive support.
Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly (3-3) held the Dodgers scoreless for five innings, St. Louis finally scoring two runs against Kershaw in the bottom of the inning.
A Jon Jay double and Tony Cruz single scored the game’s first run. Pete Kozma followed with a double, pushing Cruz to third. Kelly grounded out to second to score what would prove the winning run.
The Dodgers got one run back in the sixth after Carl Crawford doubled and Adrian Gonzalez scored him with a single. Base hits by Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier loaded the bases, but A.J. Ellis bounced into a double play -- one of four the Dodgers grounded into Tuesday.
The Dodgers got another double from Juan Uribe to lead off the seventh, but Manager Don Mattingly’s continued fascination with trying to sacrifice a runner to third with no outs continued. This time Nick Punto’s bunt traveled only a few feet. Cruz pounced on it and easily threw out Uribe at third.
The Cardinals added three additional insurance runs in the eighth on a solo homer from Carlos Beltran and a two-run homer from Matt Adams -- both off Brandon League.
And the great road winning streak was at an end. The Dodgers fell two games shy of matching the 1984 Tigers for the single-season record of 17 straight. The Dodgers are now 15-3 since the All-Star break.