Dodgers lose to Cardinals, 3-1, but Giants continue their freefall

Matt Kemp is tagged out at second base by St. Louis' Mark Ellis. Kemp was one for four at the plate with a strike out in the Dodgers' 3-1 loss to the Cardinals on Friday at Dodger Stadium.
(Jabin Botsford / Los Angeles Times)

And now all Dodgers fans should take a moment to thank the San Francisco Giants for suddenly being so putrid.

The Dodgers lost 3-1 to the Cardinals on a warm Friday night before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 48,159, and once again it did not cost them a game in the standings.

The Dodgers remain two games back of the Giants in the National League West, thanks to San Francisco also losing Friday. For those who keep track of these things -- or take glee -- that means the Giants have now lost 13 of their last 17 games.


So even with the Dodgers stumbling Friday, the only thing really lost was opportunity.

Hyun-Jin Ryu started and pitched well, he just wasn’t strong enough to overcome another tenacious effort by the Cardinals and, maybe, his own team’s the fear of Yasiel Puig.

It’s pretty much accepted by the Dodgers faithful that one day Puig is either going to ram that NFL fullback body of his into a wall and injure himself or over a teammate and flatten him like road kill.

It was a 1-1 game in the fifth, the Cardinals with runners on first and second with two outs, when shortstop Jhonny Peralta hit a drive into the right-center gap. Center fielder Scott Van Slyke sprinted after the ball, but at the last moment appeared to let up. Coming hard from right was Puig.

The ball landed between them for a two-run double. It’s not clear Van Slyke could have reached the ball if he’d continued his all-out sprint, but no one will ever know. It’s not like the 6-foot-five, 220-pound Van Slyke is a small man, but neither is he built like the 6-3, 235-pound battering ram in right.

Ryu (9-4) went seven innings for the Dodgers, allowing the three runs on nine hits and a walk, with seven strikeouts. He gave up a solo home run off the left-field foul pole to Yadier Molina in the fourth to account for the other run.

The Dodgers scored only once against right-hander Carlos Martinez. They pushed a run across in the second after A.J. Ellis walked and Miguel Rojas was safe on an infield hit.


Dee Gordon singled in the run, one of his three hits. Rojas tried to score on a wild pitch, but Molina quickly recovered and fired to Martinez at the plate, who easily applied the tag.

This was the sixth time this season the Dodgers were unable to extend a three-game winning streak.