Dodgers can’t find momentum in 5-3 loss to Cardinals
Not Clayton Kershaw on the mound, nor Matt Kemp on the bench could bring the Dodgers a win Sunday.
They fell again, this time 5-3 to the St. Louis Cardinals before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 43,244.
They managed 10 hits, but once again their only productive bat belonged to Adrian Gonzalez, who drove in all three of their runs.
In a familiar refrain, the Dodgers left 10 men on base and were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
A struggling and frustrated Kemp was given the day off by Manager Don Mattingly, not that it probably did a whole lot of good. He did pinch hit in the eighth, only to bounce into a double play and hear more boos.
The day started with Clayton Kershaw and his 1.35 ERA matched against the Cardinals’ Shelby Miller and his 1.74 ERA. Young guns extraordinaire.
But the expected pitching duel took a turn in a hurry when the Dodgers scored twice in the bottom of the first when Carl Crawford led off with a walk and Gonzalez drilled a two-run homer.
The Cardinals roared right back, scoring three times in the second. The Cardinals loaded the bases with no outs when they sandwiched a pair of walks around a David Freese broken-bat bloop double.
On the first pitch he saw, Pete Kozma began his irritating day at the plate with a doubled down the left-field line, clearing the bases and give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.
The Dodgers tied the game in the fifth in a somewhat unexpected manner. Kershaw hit a slow grounder to shortstop Kozma and managed to leg it out for an infield single.
Crawford, who got on base four times with three hits and a walk, singled, and Gonzalez blooped a single to center with two outs to score Kershaw.
The Cardinals regained the lead in the seventh after Kozma doubled off the glove of diving shortstop Dee Gordon in shallow center. Matt Carpenter picked up the RBI when his line drive went off the tip of Gonzalez’s glove at first base.
The Dodgers twice loaded the bases late, but failed to score both times.
With one out in the sixth, Ellis was it by a pitch, Juan Uribe picked up a bad-hop double and Gordon was walked intentionally to bring up Kershaw. The Dodgers let Kershaw swing, which turned into a bad idea when he bounced into a double play.
They loaded the bases again in the seventh on a Crawford double, a Mark Ellis sacrifice bunt, intentional walk to Gonzalez and Andre Ethier getting hit by a pitch.
But the Cardinals, always seemingly flush with live arms, called on reliever Trevor Rosenthal who struck out A.J. Ellis on a 100 mph fastball and Skip Schumaker on a mere 98 mph fastball.
St. Louis added an insurance run in the ninth. Kozma doubled again, this time a pop-up off the glove of Gonzalez, and scored on pinch-hitter Matt Adams’ single.
Kershaw (5-3) ended up going seven innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits and three walks, with five strikeouts. It was the first time he allowed more than three runs in his past 23 starts.
The 22-year-old Miller went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs seven hits and a walk. He struck out three.
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