Vesia caps off Dodgers victory by striking out the side
Top 9th: Alex Vesia on to close out the game for the Dodgers. He cruises through the inning, striking out the side, including his mound counterpart Fernández, the sixth pitcher to hit in the game, a rarity.
Dodgers win 14-3 to close a 3-4 homestand. They are 33-23, a game-and-a-half behind the first-place Giants and a half game behind the Padres.
Dodgers off tomorrow, head East to face Braves, Pirates
The Dodgers are off tomorrow, as they travel three time zones for a six-game trip against the Braves and the Pirates. Ace beat reporter Jorge Castillo, off tonight, will have you covered the entirety of the trip against two sub-.500 teams—one surprisingly, the Braves, whom the Dodgers faced in last year’s NLCS.
Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer are lined up to face the Braves.
Top 8th: Will Smith in at third base, the first time he has played the position in the majors, makes a throwing error on his first chance, but Uceta does not allow another runner.
Bottom 8th: An error that allowed leadoff hitter Lux to reach was followed by three outs. And we go to the ninth.
Still 14-3 Dodgers, now through seven innings
ICYMI: a few highlights from earlier in the evening, when the majority of the 17 runs were scored.
Cody Bellinger’s grand-slam to cap his six-RBI first inning, in which the Dodgers scored 11 runs:
Walker Buehler’s two-run double in the fourth:
Top 7th: Uceta on in relief of Buehler and he puts the top of the order down 1-2-3.
Bottom 7th: Junior Fernández, the fifth pitcher of the night for the Cardinals, surrenders a pair of two-out walks but gets out of it. 14-3* Dodgers.
*Surest sign of a double-digit lead: The Wave has reared its head.
Buehler’s night comes to an end after six innings, 103 pitches
Top 6th: In what is really possibly his last inning—Edwin Uceta is warming in the bullpen—Buehler allows two-out singles to Edmundo Sosa and Andrew Knizner and walks Justin Williams intentionally before getting Elledge, the pitcher, on a groundout to end the inning.
IP: 6 H: 7 ER: 3 BB: 2 SO: 8 Pitches: 103 (two fewer than his season high)
Bottom 6th: Dodgers go down 1-2-3, as Buehler—who had reached in his two previous plate appearances—is allowed to hit to avoid expending another position player.
Cardinals pull to within 11 on Dylan Carlson home run
Top 5th: In what is possibly his final inning, Buehler gets the first two batters before Dylan Carlson smokes a fastball into the rightfield stands to make it 14-3.
Bottom 5th: Seth Elledge in to pitch for the Cardinals, allowing only a two-out walk to Taylor.
The 10-year-old reporter on the mic for Clippers-Mavericks
Good game over at Staples tonight. You can watch it on TNT, but we’d recommend the Clippers Kid Cast over at Bally Sports West, which is modeled after the much-acclaimed Nickelodeon-CBS collaboration during last season’s Saints-Bears NFC Wild Card game.
Ethan Sears wrote about the broadcast, and its 10-year-old star reporter for the Times today.
Dodgers up 14-2 after four, Clippers down 35-28 after one
Top 4th: Buehler gets through the inning uneventfully. The righthander is regularly hitting 97 mph and has allowed two runs on four hits through four and has Dodger fans 60% of the way to free Jumbo Jacks.
Bottom 4th: Tyler Webb on the hill now for the Cardinals. After Bellinger lines to left, Taylor singles and Lux and McKinstry walk to load the bases. Webb strikes out Barnes, but Buehler—who worked a nine-pitch walk in his previous at-bat—grounds a double down the rightfield line to make it 13-2. Betts lines a single to center for his third hit of the night to make it 14-2.
Meanwhile, the attrition of the regulars from each side continues.
Quick Clippers update, via Andrew Greif at Staples:
Q&A: Jon Heyman talks best ballparks, Pujols and the early line of the trade deadline
Jon Heyman has been one of baseball’s best-known insiders for three decades for, among others, Newsday, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports and MLB Network, for whom he currently works. He has also journalistic roots in the Southland, having gotten his start on the baseball beat covering the Angels for the (Torrance) Daily Breeze.
Jon is also one of the most informative, entertaining follows on Twitter, where he has nearly 650,000 followers, none of whom have ever disagreed with his opinions.
In Southern California for the week, Jon was gracious enough to stop by the Live Blog.
Stone: Jon Heyman’s five favorite ballparks and, briefly, why? (I learned No. 1 via Twitter last night)
Heyman: 1. Dodger Stadium. It’s still hard to fathom, nearly 60 years in, that Dodger Stadium and the justifiably demolished Shea Stadium were conceived and built at roughly the same time. Dodger Stadium is as perfect as Shea was imperfect, beautifully understated with the local hills surrounding the ravine and imposing San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. Every small detail works, and it’s better than ever with its recent improvements. I still haven’t quite figured out how to navigate the circular parking lot in under 20 minutes but it makes sense that traffic is the one negative to an understandably treasured LA landmark.
2. PNC Park (Pirates). The genius of this park is that the breathtaking views of the city manage to make Pittsburgh look as beautiful as Paris. Not quite sure how they did that but that doesn’t mean I can’t fully appreciate it.
3. Oracle Park (Giants). Yet another beautiful park in a magnificent setting, with the ocean (or is it a bay?) bordering right field where McCovey Cove may someday be renamed after Max Muncy (not likely!). The drawback is it’s a bit cramped, owing to real estate prices in South Beach, which is especially noticeable to reporters who have to elbow past high-paying fans to get to the clubhouses (not a pandemic problem, of course, since reporters are restricted to press boxes for now).
4. Petco Park (Padres). You’ll notice a trend here. I like the Stadiums built in the early 2000s. This one is pretty from every vantage point, befitting the lovely little town where it sits. Nice touches include the warehouse in left field, the adjacent trolley and pedestrian promenade and of course the fact it’s in San Diego.
5. Wrigley Field (Cubs). This has little to do with the ancient and venerable stadium but is more about the time you’ll have while there, even if you are among the seemingly few who appear sober. It’s just a lovefest for the star-crossed team. Like other old stadiums it remains cramped and inconvenient, but it’s easily worth the time you’ll have.
Honorable mention: Target Field (Twins), Loandepot Park (Marlins) and Citi Field (Mets), with one major advantage there being that it’s not Shea.
Stone: With the Cardinals still in town, let’s talk Albert Pujols. How surprised were you that he signed with the Dodgers? And where did you expect him to land?
Heyman: I’m not all that surprised Pujols got a job even after performing increasingly poorly with the Angels, but I’m a little surprised it was with the Dodgers. The surprise comes from it not only being a team that already had plenty of weapons, but also an NL team that doesn’t need a DH for the most part.
When you think about it, though, it makes a little more sense, not for the chance to make their rivals down the the 5 look bad for swiping old number 5, but because it adds a spark for a team that appears historically great on paper but has looked flat at times. It also enhances their depth at a time injuries around the game are at an an all-time high. As it turned out, the timing was good. Corey Seager’s unfortunate hand injury allowed the versatile infield to move Gavin Lux from short to second and Muncy from first to second, opening up at least a temporary starting spot for a still imposing figure/name.
Stone: Even with the trade deadline still two months away, it would be a waste not to ask you about possible player movement this summer? Which teams do you find intriguing as buyers or sellers? Joe Davis and Orel Hersisher, for instance, had an interesting conversation Sunday about the Giants, whose roster construction and preseason prospects made them once seem like likely sellers, but their strong start might force team president Farhan Zaidi to rethink that.
Heyman: Here are my three most intriguing deadline teams...
1. Cubs. The shocking deal of Yu Darvish to the Padres signaled the likelihood that the Cubs were nearly ready to give up on the 2021 season before it started. However, their nucleus—alternately vaunted and criticized like no team before it—is making a stand and sending a clear message to a front office that already seemed to be preparing for the future. Different Chicago team, but the 1997 White Flag trade of the White Sox is not recalled kindly in Chicago. If the Cubs stay within shouting distance of the favored Cardinals, the currently overachieving Cubs will at least give pause to a front office seemingly ready to move on. That said, if they did sell they’d have one heckuva sale, with stars Kris Bryant, Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo all free agents after the season and the Cubs holding a reasonable $16 million option on rejuvenated closer Craig Kimbrel’s contract.
2. Giants. San Francisco is interesting because they’ve outperformed to the point of actually leading a division that was portrayed as a two-team fight for the ages between the Dodgers and Padres. They are also interesting because it was universally assumed they’d sell for contractual reasons, with three decorated veteran position players (Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt) and just about their entire starting rotation (Kevin Gausman, Johnny Cueto, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood, Aaron Sanchez) all likely headed for free agency. However, Giants honcho Farhan Zaidi grew up under Billy Beane and the A’s, where rebuilding is seen as a naughty word and the annual M.O. is to go for it. And hey, why not? The Giants already have proven three times in the last 11 years they can win a World Championship with something far less than baseball’s best team.
3. Nats. This one will be much discussed, and already is, just like it was in 2019 when they started brutally slow but ultimately made the right call by keeping their primetime players and rallying to win a championship. The lessons of that experience will possibly lead them not to sell. But the suspicion here is that with Anthony Rendon gone west and Stephen Strasburg’s pitching health in question, they would be smart to sell at a time it should be an alltime sellers’ market considering the great sport-wide parity and ridiculous attrition due to injuries. It rarely happens but Max Scherzer is a case where they could trade him for a ton before signing him back (also for a ton) for the capper on a likely Hall of Fame career.
Stone: Bonus question: In-n-Out Burger or Shake Shack?
Heyman: Don’t tell my homies back in New York but this one is easy. It’s In-N-Out by a couple extra-base hits (a Double Double to be precise). I think the key is the sauce but I don’t question it. It’s the first thing I did when I arrived for my trip to L.A. this week—and there was a car lineup of nearly a half an hour into the street—at 11 a.m. And I didn’t mind one bit.
(Somewhere Gustavo Arellano shakes his fist at the sky.)
Second inning as quiet as the first inning was loud; Dodgers 11-1
Top 2nd: It’s been 35 minutes since Buehler last threw a pitch. Maybe a little rust as the first two batter reach, on a ground single and a walk. He retires the next three batters, however, two on strikeouts.
Bottom 2nd: Interesting stat shared by Joe and Orel: the 11 runs in the first were the most in franchise history in a regular-season inning. Dodgers go down 1-2-3.
Dodgers answer Goldschmidt homer with 11—11!—runs in the first
Underway at Dodger Stadium, where Bill Shaikin is Our Guy onsite. Follow him here tonight and for eternity.
Top 1st: Walker Buehler gets two quick outs before Paul Goldschmidt lofts a homer to center, the Cards’ first baseman’s 33rd in his career against the Dodgers.
Bottom 1st: Dodgers answer. Big. The first eight batters reach, leading to six runs before Carlos Martínez can get an out. Mookie Betts drops a double just inside the line in shallow right to lead off. Max Muncy walks, extending his streak of reaching base to 22 games. Justin Turner finds a hole in the left side to (barely) bring home Betts.
Cody Bellinger lines a single to right to bring two more home. Chris Taylor walks on four pitches before Gavin Lux singles on one hop to the wall* in center to make it 4-1. Zach McKinstry singles—his first hit since coming off the IL—to push it to 6-1. Austin Barnes walks.
Buehler strikes out for the first out of the inning. It’s a temporary reprieve for Martínez, who gives up Betts second hit of the inning to make it 7-1. He gets one more out before walking Turner to load the bases. He’s out of the game after 39 pitches, 20 of them balls, six others hits.
Into the game comes Jake Woodford, whose first strike to Bellinger is deposited into the right field stands. Grand slam. 11-1.
*How do you single on one hop to the wall? Bellinger tagged at second and was going to hold at third before an errant throw home allowed him to score and Taylor and Lux to advance.
Dodgers vs. Cardinals betting lines and odds for Wednesday night
The Los Angeles Dodgers had to rely on their bullpen Tuesday during their loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and will turn to Walker Buehler on Wednesday. Buehler has pitched at least six innings in all 10 of his starts this season and opponents are hitting .182 against him in Los Angeles, but after not allowing a single home run at home last season, he has surrendered six in his last five home starts.
The Cardinals had given up at least four runs in each of their last five games prior to Tuesday’s 3-2 win and will look to Carlos Martinez for a good outing. He’s allowed three or fewer runs in five of his past six starts.
The Dodgers are the only team in the National League averaging more than five runs per game and should make lots of contact against Martinez, who has 1.9 strikeout to walk rate with 5.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Between the regular season and postseason, the Dodgers are 12-2 since the start of the 2020 season in games where Walker Buehler is at least a -165 favorite, winning eight of those games by two or more runs.
The Dodgers have covered the run line in just one of their last seven games, while St. Louis has the MLB’s third-best record on the run line at 32-23, with just 12 of their 30 road games this season going under the total.
Albert Pujols, Julio Urias, Fernando Valenzuela lead Dodgers visit to migrant shelter
Albert Pujols, Julio Urias, Fernando Valenzuela and Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin led a Dodgers delegation that visited Tuesday with migrant children temporarily sheltered at the Long Beach Convention Center.
In a news release, the Dodgers said their players and broadcasters participated in wiffle ball, distributed Dodgers caps and T-shirts, and signed autographs. The other Dodgers participants included pitchers Victor Gonzalez and Edwin Uceta and broadcaster Pepe Yniguez.
The temporary facility includes 1,000 beds. It is intended to house girls under 17 and boys under 12, and to provide shelter, food, medical care, education and recreation. The facility is designed to provide care and safety to unaccompanied minors on a short-term basis, pending reunification with parents.
“Detention centers along the border,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said, are “no place for a child.”
ICYMI: RIP Mike Marshall, the iconoclast who was a heckuva Dodger
Mike Marshall, who set a major league standard for endurance during an iconoclastic but award-winning career, died Tuesday, the team said. He was 78.
The Dodgers said he died in Zephyrhills, Fla., where he resided. The team did not announce a cause of death.
In 1974, as the Dodgers’ top relief pitcher, he appeared in 106 games, still the major league record. He pitched in all five games of the World Series that year, including a memorable pickoff of Herb Washington, the track star the Oakland Athletics signed for the sole purpose of pinch-running.
Marshall won the National League Cy Young Award as the league’s best pitcher that year, the first relief pitcher to win the award. He ranked among the top five in Cy Young voting four times, unusually high finishes for a relief pitcher. Then again, Marshall finished an unusually high number of games, with an unusually high number of innings.
Pollock due back Friday, Pujols adjusts to bench role
Albert Pujols is not in the Dodgers’ starting lineup against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, for the second time in this three-game series. When the Dodgers face the Atlanta Braves this weekend, with the Braves scheduled to start two right-handers, Pujols does not figure to start in those games, either.
The Dodgers expect to activate outfielder AJ Pollock Friday, manager Dave Roberts said. They activated outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger and utilityman Zack McKinstry last week.
The at-bats are drying up. The ones left for Pujols: some time at first base against left-handed starters, and some time pinch-hitting against left-handed relievers.
“You’ve just got to be open to the role, which Albert is,” Roberts said, “and understanding the presence and the tension he creates when he’s in there.”
Pujols is batting .225 with three home runs in 13 games for the Dodgers, after batting .198 with five home runs in 24 games for the Angels.
The 10-time All-Star has 33 career at-bats as a pinch-hitter. in which he has batted .273 with two home runs.
Dodgers close homestand as Cubs sweep Padres
The Chicago Cubs were 21-21 two weeks ago, and the question that loomed over the Windy City was whether the Cubs might trade Kris Bryant to a contender.
Today, the Cubs are a contender. They have won 11 of their past 13 games, and on Wednesday they completed a sweep of the San Diego Padres.
The Cubs are 32-23. The Dodgers are 32-23.
With a victory Wednesday night, the Dodgers would move within a half-game of the second-place Padres in the National League West, and within 1-1/2 games of the first-place San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers’ lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals:
Mookie Betts, rf
Max Muncy, 1b
Justin Turner, 3b
Cody Bellinger, cf
Chris Taylor, 2b
Gavin Lux, ss
Zack McKinstry, lf
Austin Barnes, c
Walker Buehler, p
From today’s Times: Why Shake Shack, not In-N-Out, is at Dodger Stadium
Shake Shack opened at Dodger Stadium this season. The most common reaction among the Dodger faithful: Where is In-N-Out? Why must we eat a good New York burger where we could eat a great L.A. burger?
You, gentle Dodgers fan, are not alone in your love for In-N-Out. Jason Giambi, the onetime American League most valuable player, grew up in West Covina. After he signed with the New York Yankees, he tried to open an In-N-Out in New York. He failed.
In-N-Out does not open locations in New York — or, for that matter, anywhere east of Texas. And sorry, hungry Dodger fan: In-N-Out does not open locations within major sports venues.
“Sponsorship of a major sports team, stadium or arena, isn’t a strategy that we have chosen to take advantage of,” said Denny Warnick, In-N-Out executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Dodgers, Mookie Betts fall just short again in loss to Cardinals
The stage was set for those in attendance at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night to witness what they had seen only on television last season. Up came Mookie Betts with two on and two out in a one-run game in the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals, looking to at least extend the game, if not author the kind of signature moment he made a regular occurrence in front of cardboard cutouts in 2020.
For a split second, as his line drive soared to the left-field corner, it looked as if Betts finally had delivered another one. But, in keeping with Betts’ frustrating season, left fielder Tyler O’Neill tracked it down and made a catch at the warning track, topping the Cardinals’ impressive defensive showing in a 3-2 win over the Dodgers.
It was the Dodgers’ 13th one-run loss this season, the most in the majors. They remain without a walk-off win 55 games into the season after producing two in 60 games in 2020 and 12 in 162 games in 2019.
The Dodgers (32-23) tapped David Price as the opener for their bullpen game after he was effective in the role twice over the last two weeks. Ideally, manager Dave Roberts said, Price would pitch three innings before passing the baton to the rest of the relief corps.
Edmundo Sosa’s single in the ninth wins it 3-2 for the Cardinals
Top of the ninth:
Blake Treinen gave up a hit to Tyler O’Neill to lead off the ninth inning. O’Neill stole second. Edmundo Sosa lined a single between shortstop and third base that allowed O’Neill to score from second. This run gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. Sosa advanced to second on the throw to the plate. One run in, no outs and a runner on second with José Rondón at the plate. Rondón struck out for the first out. Kenley Jansen relieved Treinen. Jansen got pinch-hitter Justin Williams to ground out to second for the second out. Jansen got Tommy Edman to pop out to the catcher for the final out.
Bottom of the ninth:
Alex Reyes, who is 15 for 15 in save appearances this season, relieved Giovanny Gallegos in the ninth. Chris Taylor struck out to start the ninth. Zach McKinstry, who pinch-ran for Albert Pujols in the seventh inning, flew out to left field for the second out. Pinch-hitter Yoshi Tsutsugo walked on four straight pitches. Tsutsugo was the tying run at first base. Cody Bellinger, the potential winning run, lined a single up the middle. The tying run moved to second, with the winning run at first with Mookie Betts up to bat. Betts rocketed a line drive to left field, but Tyler O’Neill made a leaping grab at the wall to end the game.
Final score: Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2
Relievers hold off scoring in eighth
Top of the eighth:
Blake Treinen relieved Mitch White. Paul Goldschmidt flew out to center field for the first out. Justin Turner made an on-the-run throw from third base to narrowly beat Nolan Arenado for the second out. Yadier Molina lined out to shortstop for the third out.
Bottom of the eighth:
Max Muncy flew out to left field for the first out. Justin Turner hit a single to left field. Will Smith struck out for the second out. Gavin Lux flew out to center field for the final out.
End of the eighth: Dodgers 2, Cardinals 2
Matt Beaty’s two-run homer evens score
Top of the seventh:
Mitch White relieved Nate Jones in the seventh. José Rondón struck out looking on a sixth pitch fastball. Matt Beaty then committed a fielding error in left field that allowed Matt Carpenter to move up to second base. White struck out Tommy Edman looking on the seventh pitch of the at-bat for the second out. Three strikeouts for White ended the top half of the seventh.
Bottom of the seventh:
A swinging bunt by Chris Taylor was collected by Giovanny Gallegos, who relieved John Gant, for the first out of the inning. Albert Pujols walked on seven pitches. Beaty hit a home run into the right field bleachers to tie the game at 2-2. Cody Bellinger struck out on three pitches for the second out. Mookie Betts fouled out for the third out.
End of the seventh: Dodgers 2, Cardinals 2
Dylan Carlson’s sliding grab keeps Cardinals ahead
Top of the sixth:
Nate Jones got Nolan Arenado to pop up to the catcher, making Arenado 0-for-7 in the series. Yadier Molina grounded out to second, making Arenado and Molina a combined 0-for-14 in the series. Tyler O’Neill reached on an infield single. Jones struck out Edmundo Sosa for the final out.
Bottom of the sixth:
Mookie Betts lined a single to center field to lead off the inning. A leaping grab from Tommy Edman stole a single from Max Muncy for the first out. Justin Turner struck out looking. Will Smith hit a ground-rule double that held Betts at third with two outs. Gavin Lux hit a blooper that could have scored two runs, but rookie Dylan Carlson made a sliding grab to end the inning and protect the Cardinals lead.
End of the sixth: Cardinals 2, Dodgers 0
Two hits over 100 mph lead to two outs for Nate Jones
Top of the fifth:
Nate Jones relieved Phil Bickford in the fifth inning.
Gavin Lux, placed in the middle of the field for the shift, made a crouching grab over second base for the first out. Two pitches hit 100 mph or above led to two straight outs for Jones as a line drive to center field was caught. Lux collected the third out to end the inning.
Bottom of the fifth:
Albert Pujols led off the fifth inning with a fly out to center field. Matt Beaty struck out looking. Jones, who hadn’t hit yet this season, nearly had a 1.000 batting average but the outstretched glove of Tommy Edman ruined those chances.
End of the fifth: Cardinals 2, Dodgers 0
Max Muncy’s off-balance throw saves a hit
Top of the fourth:
Phil Bickford relieved Joe Kelly in the fourth. Bickford struck out the first man he faced for the first out. Max Muncy made a back hand going into left field, twisted his body and turned a questionable infield single into the second out. Bickford struck out the opposing pitcher — John Gant — to end the top half.
Bottom of the fourth:
Justin Turner walked to start the bottom of the fourth, adding to the Dodgers’ highest walk rate in baseball. Will Smith struck out looking on a low and away change up for the first out. Gavin Lux flew out on the first pitch he saw to center field. Chris Taylor stung Yadier Molina with a foul ball, but Molina quickly adjusted to ensure that John Gant didn’t lose his rhythm. Molina’s mental and physical toughness paid off as Taylor flew out to right field to end the inning.
End of the fourth: Cardinals 2, Dodgers 0
Dodgers pitchers hold tough in third inning
Top of the third:
Joe Kelly stayed in the game for the Dodgers. He nearly took off Nolan Arenado’s belt on the first pitch of the inning. Arenado then grounded out to second base for the first out. Kelly struck out Yadier Molina on a 99 mph fastball by the knee caps. Kelly got back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning, striking out Tyler O’Neill for the third out.
Bottom of the third:
Joe Kelly led off the bottom of the third, meaning he’d start the top of the fourth on the mound for the Dodgers. Kelly grounded out to first for the first out. Mookie Betts walked, but that was erased by an inning-ending double play hit by Max Muncy.
End of third: Cardinals 2, Dodgers 0
David Price chased after getting just five outs
The Dodgers tapped David Price as the opener for their bullpen game Tuesday. Ideally, manager Dave Roberts said, Price would pitch three innings before passing the baton to the rest of the relief corps.
Instead, Price encountered command issues and recorded just five outs. He left after giving up two runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings. He threw 50 pitches.
It was Price’s worst outing since returning from a hamstring injury May 18. The 35-year-old left-hander had tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his previous four appearances.
His early exit will force the rest of the Dodgers bullpen to cover at least 22 outs.
Dylan Carlson’s dribbler extends Cardinals lead, David Price chased early
Top of the second:
David Price made quick work of Edmundo Sosa, who grounded out to Price.
Price then walked José Rondón on six pitches. John Gant then was called out on a failed bunt attempt on an 0-2 cutter. Two outs, runner on first.
Tommy Edman hit a hard ground ball (108 mph exit velocity) through the middle of the diamond for a base hit that advanced Rendón to third. Runners on first and third, two outs.
Dylan Carlson fought off an inside pitch that jammed him but managed to bounce it through the second base and first base gap. The dribbler brought in Rendón from third. The hit forced Price out of the game.
It was going to be a bullpen game from the beginning. Joe Kelly came in relief of Price. Kelly struck out Paul Goldschmidt for the third out. Kelly stranded two runners on base.
Bottom of the second:
Will Smith flared a lead-off single to left field. Gavin Lux popped out to second base for the first out of the inning. Chris Taylor continued his hot streak with a line drive to right field, moving Smith up to second. Runners on first and second for the St. Louis legend, Albert Pujols.
Pujols tapped a ground ball to Nolan Arenado at third base for the second out. Matt Beaty grounded out to first to end the inning.
End of second: Cardinals 2, Dodgers 0
Paul Goldschmidt’s ground rule double scores first run for Cardinals
Top of the first:
David Price began the night on the bump for the Dodgers in a bullpen game.
Tommy Edman started Monday night’s game with a double and mimicked that feat tonight on a 3-1 fastball. A broken-bat base hit for Dylan Carlson moved Edman to third. Two on, nobody out and the heart of the order up.
On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Paul Goldschmidt lined a ground-rule double to left field that scored the first run of the game. The Cardinals had runners on second and third with nobody out. Nolan Arenado flew out to right field. Runners remained at second and third with one out. Yadier Molina struck out on a 3-2 fastball for the second out. And Tyler O’Neill struck out on three pitches.
Price was able to maneuver his way through trouble and only allowed one run while stranding two runners on abase.
Bottom of the first:
Mookie Betts led off the inning with a strikeout. Max Muncy, who came into the game with the third-longest on-base streak (20), followed the strikeout with a walk pushing his streak to 21 games. Justin Turner grounded into a 1-4-3 double play to end the inning.
End of first: Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0
Jimmy Nelson nearing return from injured list
Jimmy Nelson, on the injured list with right forearm and elbow soreness, faced Yoshi Tsutsugo in a live batting practice session Tuesday and emerged healthy. If he rebounds Wednesday without an issue, he could come off the injured list as soon as Friday.
The 31-year-old right-hander was placed on the injured list May 24, retroactive to May 21.
“It was something that was just kind of increasing as I was throwing more and more, so we just kind of shut it down from there,” Nelson said of his injury. “Addressed the issue and I feel like between the treatment and just the approach back into things as far as throwing and mound work and then live BP today, it’s all gone very well.”
Nelson has a 2.41 earned-run average in 18 2/3 innings across 16 appearances in his first season as a full-time reliever after undergoing shoulder, elbow and back surgeries since the end of the 2017 season.
Roberts said AJ Pollock (hamstring) is also expected to join the Dodgers on their upcoming road trip after completing a rehab assignment with single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday.
Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer doesn’t know why he’s giving up so many home runs ... yet
It’s the one blemish on an otherwise brilliant two-month start to the season for Trevor Bauer, the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner who signed a three-year, $102-million deal with the Dodgers in February.
The 30-year-old right-hander gave up three earned runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings of the Dodgers’ 9-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday to improve to 6-3 with a 2.24 ERA in 12 starts. He has yielded only 40 hits while striking out 96 — the most in the NL — and walking 23 across 76 1/3 innings.
But 13 of those hits (roughly 33%) have been home runs, including solo shots to Justin Williams and Tyler O’Neill and a two-run shot to Dylan Carlson on Monday night. Of the 22 runs Bauer has given up this season, 17 have scored on home runs.
“It’s just frustrating,” Bauer said. “Forty percent of the hits I give up are homers. I haven’t given up a run on a non-homer in over a month. Good pitches, bad pitches, it just seems my luck on homers is terrible right now.
“It’s frustrating when you have a chance to get out of jams and I can’t just give up a hit, a double or something. It has to be a homer.”
Dodgers lineup set: Cody Bellinger is off; Albert Pujols set to face the Cardinals
The original plan for Cody Bellinger when he came off the injured list Saturday, according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, was for him to start the Dodgers’ next five games.
That plan was scratched Tuesday. Bellinger isn’t in the Dodgers’ lineup against the Cardinals after going 0 for 10 with three walks in three games since his return from a fractured left fibula.
Bellinger suffered the injury April 5, in his fourth game of the season. The fracture kept the center fielder out for nearly two months, continuing a disjointed start to the 2021 season that began with Bellinger being held out of spring training until mid-March after undergoing shoulder surgery in November. The 2019 NL MVP is 4 for 29 (.138) with a .506 OPS in seven games this season.
“We look back at what he did to prepare for the season, it was an abbreviated spring training and then I think it was four games into the season, he gets hurt,” Roberts said. “So, as far as game at-bats, he hasn’t had it. So I just think continuing to get the work in and we all know that he impacts us if he’s in the game, in the lineup.”
Roberts said Bellinger will return to the lineup Wednesday and start all three games against the Braves this weekend.
As for Tuesday, the Dodgers will deploy a bullpen game with David Price as the opener. Roberts said he’d like Price to get through three innings before turning to the rest of the relief corps.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Cardinals beat reporter Derrick Goold captured Albert Pujols on the field pregame talking with some former Card teammates. Pujols will be facing St. Louis for the first time as a Dodger tonight after sitting out the series opener.
In case you missed it, Goold answered some questions for The Times about Pujols’ tenure in St. Louis. He helped explain what Dodger fans can expect from the veteran this season.
Dodgers vs. Cardinals betting odds for Tuesday night
The Dodgers enter June on a high note with a victory Monday night over the St. Louis Cardinals and will look to make it two in a row Tuesday night.
The Dodgers will give David Price the start in what is expected to be a bullpen game. He is being used in this manner for the third time in 12 days. During two starts this season, Price has gone a combined 4 2/3 innings with no runs given up and the team won both of those starts by one run.
John Gant knows about going from the bullpen to the role of starter, being used out of the bullpen by the Cardinals in 2019 and 2020 and in nine starts this season. He has yet to give up more than three runs. The numbers suggest his 1.81 ERA should rise — he leads the National League in walks with 31 and has a 4.06 fielding independent pitching.
The Cardinals have given up at least four runs in each of their last five games, while the Dodgers are second in the majors in runs per game with 5.2 and have scored at least four in eight of their last nine games.
Just one of Gant’s nine starts has gone over the total this season, while the Dodgers have played seven of their last nine games over the total.
Chris Taylor’s 14th-pitch, bases-clearing double powers Dodgers past Cardinals
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 9-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium on Monday.
It was an epic showdown, all right, just not the one most anticipated.
What began as a marquee pitching matchup between former Southern California prep stars Trevor Bauer of the Dodgers and Jack Flaherty of the St. Louis Cardinals gave way to a battle royale between Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor and Cardinals reliever Genesis Cabrera.
The utility man and the hard-throwing left-hander stared each other down for 14 pitches Monday night, the tension rising throughout a grueling at-bat that came with two outs, the bases loaded and the score tied in the bottom of the sixth inning, before Cabrera finally blinked.
After fouling off a total of eight two-strike pitches — six fastballs ranging from 97 to 99mph, an 82-mph curve and a 90-mph changeup — Taylor lashed a 97-mph fastball into the right-center-field gap for a three-run double to push the Dodgers toward a 9-4 victory before 18,071 at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers bullpen, offense secure vital win over Cardinals
Phil Bickford came in to close out the game for the Dodgers.
Bickford made quick work of the Cardinals’ last ditch effort — forcing a fly out, a ground out and a game-ending strike out to clinch the needed victory for the Dodgers.
End of ninth inning: Dodgers 9, Cardinals 4
Dodgers extend lead to 9-4 in eighth
Nate Jones relieved Victor González and immediately got the first out of the eighth on a fly out to centerfield. Jones got the second out in the form of a ground out to second base. The third out came on a hotshot to the shortstop to end the top of the eighth inning.
Will Smith started the bottom half of the inning the way the Cardinals opened the top half, with a ground out to shortstop.
Gavin Lux hit his second home run of the night on an 0-1 fastball to deep centerfield. It was Lux’s fifth home run this season and his second career multi-home run game. Lux’s big fly extended the Dodgers’ lead to 7-4.
Chris Taylor got his third extra-base hit of the game with a line-drive double into the left-center gap. Zach McKinstry flew out to right field for the second out. Matt Beaty came in to pinch hit for Nate Jones. Beaty lined an RBI single that skipped past the third baseline, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 8-4. Daniel Ponce de Leon was relieved by Seth Elledge with two outs.
Mookie Betts, delivering one of his better games as of late, struck a ball to right-center that scored Beaty from first. Betts reached second. After adding three runs in the bottom of the eighth, Max Muncy grounded out to end the inning.
End of eighth inning: Dodgers 9, Cardinals 4
Tyler O’Neill gets a run back for the Cardinals
Trevor Bauer got Yadier Molina to pop up to Max Muncy at first base for the first out of the inning.
Tyler O’Neill cranked a line-drive home run that skid fair past the left-field foul pole. The score still with the Dodgers ahead, 6-4.
Edmundo Sosa popped out to first base for the second out. Justin Williams hit a laser that bounced off the glove of Gavin Lux for a base hit.
Victor González entered the game to relieve Bauer.
González struck out Lane Thomas for the final out of the top of the seventh inning.
Daniel Ponce de Leon relieved Génesis Cabrera.
Mookie Betts shot a ground ball through the first and second base gap for his first hit of the game. Betts then advanced on a passed ball, moving into scoring position. Max Muncy fouled out to third baseman Nolan Arenado for the first out of the inning. A warning track fly out for Justin Turner allows Betts to move up to third base with two outs. Cody Bellinger struck out to end the inning.
End of seventh: Dodgers 6, Cardinals 4
Chris Taylor’s bases-clearing double pushes Dodgers’ lead 6-3
Justin Williams hit a home run off the right-field foul pole to cut the Dodgers’ lead in half to begin the top of the sixth inning, ending the shutout for Trevor Bauer.
Bauer quickly collected himself and struck out Jack Flaherty on four pitches. Zach McKinstry committed his second error of the game, allowing Tommy Edman to reach first base safely.
Dylan Carlson hit the second home run of the inning, this time a two-run home run, to give the Cardinals their first lead of the game.
Paul Goldschmidt flew out to center field and Nolan Arenado struck out swinging to end the top half of the sixth.
Ryan Helsley relieved Jack Flaherty in the bottom of the sixth for the Cardinals.
Mookie Betts grounded out to shortstop for the first out of the inning, the first time Betts failed to reach base safely in the game. Max Muncy lined a double into the right-center gap. Justin Turner hit a single through the shortstop and third base gap, but Muncy held at third because of the exit velocity off Turner’s bat and the arm strength of Tyler O’Neill in left field.
Génesis Cabrera quickly relieved Helsley with runners on the corners and one out. Cabrera walked Cody Bellinger to load the bases with still only one out.
Cabrera walked Will Smith after working the count to 3-2. This walk, with nowhere to put Smith, sent in the tying run.
Cabrera struck out Gavin Lux to regain some confidence.
With the bases loaded and a 2-2 count on the 14th pitch of the at-bat, Chris Taylor hit a bases clearing double that broke the 3-3 tie. Dodgers led 6-3 after the everlasting at-bat.
Bauer struck out to end the inning.
End of sixth innings: Dodgers 6, Cardinals 3
Bauer throws another nine-pitch inning
Trevor Bauer got Yadier Molina to ground out to shortstop for the first out of the fifth inning. Bauer struck out Tyler O’Neill looking on three pitches. And Bauer rounded out the inning by striking out Edmundo Sosa.
Bauer threw just nine pitches in the fifth inning. He has thrown 58 pitches in five innings of work, while Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty tossed 73 pitches in four innings of work.
Chris Taylor grounded out to shortstop for the first out. Zach McKinstry flew out to right field for the second out. Bauer, with the best hit ball of the inning, lined out to right field to end the inning.
Flaherty ended the fifth inning with 83 pitches.
End of fifth inning: Dodgers 2, Cardinals 0
Dodgers run up Flaherty’s pitch count, maintain lead after four
Mookie Betts made a running grab near the line in right field to secure the stroke by Dylan Carlson for the first out at the top of the fourth. After Paul Goldschmidt walked, Nolan Arenado immediately grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Through four innings, Bauer’s only allowed one hit.
Cody Bellinger struck out for the second time of the night on a 3-2 fastball. Will Smith fell into the two-strikeout category as he struck out on a 2-2 slider for the second out of the inning. Gavin Lux struck out on a 2-2 fastball to end the inning. Although Flaherty has struck out the past five batters he’s faced, only one at-bat has been less than six pitches.
End of fourth inning: Dodgers 2, Cardinals 0
Bauer in control through three innings
Justin Williams flew out to Chris Taylor in left field to start the top of the third. Jack Flaherty, the Cardinals pitcher for the night, flew out to Cody Bellinger for the second out of the inning. Tommy Edman delivered warning track power, but Bellinger made the play to retire the side. Another one-two-three inning for Trevor Bauer.
Mookie Betts reached base safely for the second time Monday night. He walked to start the inning. Max Muncy struck out on a breaking ball for the first out of the inning.
Strikeout and caught stealing plays ended the inning. Justin Turner struck out and Yadier Molina caught Betts attempting to swipe second base.
End of third inning: Dodgers 2, Cardinals 0
Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor homer back-to-back, give Dodgers 2-0 lead
Cody Bellinger robbed Yadier Molina on the first pitch of the inning to keep the score at zero in the top of the second.
Tyler O’Neill grounded out to Justin Turner at third base for the second out of the inning. Edmundo Sosa made the play at first base a close one, but he was just beat by the Gavin Lux throw to end the top of the second.
Will Smith struck out to the start the bottom of the inning for the Dodgers.
On the second pitch of his at-bat, Lux hit a towering home run over the right field wall.
During the next at-bat, Chris Taylor hit a home run that was a no-doubter.
It gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
Zach McKinstry struck out swinging for the second out of the inning. Trevor Bauer worked the count, forcing eight pitches, but he eventually struck out to end the inning.
End of second inning: Dodgers 2, Cardinals 0
Pitchers duel begins as Dodgers, Cards go scoreless in first inning
Trevor Bauer, who is 3-0 at home, is on the mound for the Dodgers.
Tommy Edman opened the game with a leadoff double, hitting into the right-field corner. Dylan Carlson then lined out with some help from the shift. Edman was thrown out at third base as he tried to brace his slide, skidding further than the bag and mistaking Justin Turner’s glove was the base. Instead of having a runner on third with one out, the Cardinals had nobody on with two outs.
Zach McKinstry committed the first error of the evening with an E4 that allowed Paul Goldschmidt to reach first base safely.
Bauer stuck out Nolan Arenado on a high fastball to end the inning.
In the bottom of the first, Mookie Betts led off by getting hit by a pitch. Max Muncy lined out to centerfield on the first pitch he saw. And Turner lined out to Nolan Arenado at third base. Arenado nearly caught Betts sleeping at first with a jump throw. Nonetheless, two outs and a runner on first.
Cody Bellinger struck out on a slider to end the inning.
End of first inning: Dodgers 0, Cardinals 0
A little self-talk helped Zach McKinstry recover from oblique strain
Zach McKinstry didn’t necessarily go stir-crazy during his recovery from a right-oblique strain that sidelined him from April 22 until Saturday, but the rookie utility man did admit to talking to himself early in the rehabilitation process.
“I couldn’t take very many swings, so I was just kind of hanging out with myself, and I had a lot of mental talks,” McKinstry said before Monday night’s game. “It was just reminding myself that I’ll be able to get back out there. Just take it slow, make sure you’re fully healthy when you get back, and it will all work itself out.”
A mere sneeze can cause excruciating pain for those with a fresh oblique strain, and it’s easy for players to aggravate such injuries if they come back too soon, so McKinstry probably needed some self-reassurance.
Now that he has played two games since being activated and is starting at second base against the Cardinals Monday night, McKinstry believes he has cleared the mental hurdles that come with overcoming such an injury.
The Dodgers say Mookie Betts’ slump isn’t tied to potential injury issues, but the normally standout outfielder has performed in a strangely pedestrian manner.
“I have to take a full swing and just hope for the best,” McKinstry said. “I really don’t think about it too often now. I try to go through my routine, take as many swings as I want.
“The workload is definitely a little different. I don’t try to take as many swings now as I did before. Just making sure that when I do work on my swing, it’s quality over quantity.”
The injury interrupted a hot start for McKinstry, who hit .296 (16 for 54) with a .883 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, three homers, five doubles and 14 RBIs in 17 games before going on the injured list.
He hit .313 (five for 16) in a five-game rehabilitation stint for triple-A Oklahoma City but was hitless in six at-bats with three strikeouts in his first two games back with the Dodgers.
“It’s all right,” the left-handed-hitting McKinstry said of his timing at the plate. “It’s always a change when you go from level to level. I just need some at-bats under my belt, and I’ll be right back where I was.”
Mookie Betts back in Dodgers lineup for Bauer-Flaherty showdown
A pair of former Southern California prep standouts will square off tonight at 6:10 p.m. in Chavez Ravine when Dodgers right-hander Trevor Bauer (Santa Clarita Hart High) opposes St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty (Harvard-Westlake) in the opener of a three-game series.
It will be the third career start in Dodger Stadium for Flaherty, who allowed one earned run and five hits in 13 innings of his previous two hometown starts, striking out 20 and walking three for an 0.69 ERA. The Cardinals ace is 8-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 10 starts this season.
Bauer, the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner with the Cincinnati Reds, is 5-3 with a 2.07 ERA in his first 11 starts for the Dodgers after signing a three-year, $102-million deal in February.
Bauer has thrown six innings or more in 10 of his 11 starts and allowed two or fewer earned runs in 10 straight starts. He ranks sixth in the major leagues with 91 strikeouts and has limited opponents to a .145/.225/.293 slash-line.
Dodgers right fielder and leadoff man Mookie Betts, a late scratch from Sunday’s game against the San Francisco Giants because of an allergic reaction that impaired his vision, is back in the lineup.
Reserve first baseman Albert Pujols, who won three NL most valuable player awards and helped the Cardinals win two World Series championships from 2001-11, is not in the lineup against his former team.
DODGERS LINEUP: RF Mookie Betts, 1B Max Muncy, 3B Justin Turner, CF Cody Bellinger, C Will Smith, SS Gavin Lux, LF Chris Taylor, 2B Zach McKinstry, RHP Trevor Bauer.
CARDINALS LINEUP: 2B Tommy Edman, CF Dylan Carlson, 1B Paul Goldschmidt, 3B Nolan Arenado, C Yadier Molina, LF Tyler O’Neill, SS Edmundo Sosa, RF Justin Williams, RHP Jack Flaherty.
Dodgers vs. Cardinals pitching matchup features SoCal roots
Los Angeles Times veteran high school sports reporter Eric Sondheimer notes tonight’s Dodgers vs. Cardinals matchup features a pitching showdown with SoCal roots.
Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Cardinals on Monday
After losing the last three games of their weekend series against the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers start a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals starting Monday at 6:10 p.m.
The Cardinals, who are in first place in the NL Central, had their four-game win streak snapped Sunday in a 9-2 road loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers opened around -165 at most Las Vegas books Sunday and were bet up to -180 as of 10:30 a.m. Monday as they send Trevor Bauer (5-3, 2.07 ERA, 0.82 WHIP) against St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty (8-1, 2.84 ERA, 1.07 WHIP).
Bauer is 3-0 this season at Dodger Stadium with a 0.90 ERA, but this is a tough test as Flaherty has a 1.08 ERA in four career starts against L.A. These teams didn’t meet in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but the Dodgers did beat the Cardinals 2-1 on Aug. 7, 2019, in a pitcher’s duel between Flaherty and Dustin May, though neither pitcher got a decision.
The over/under has been set low at 7 runs, though it is shaded to the over at -120 instead of the standard -110.
The Dodgers are a -250 favorite to win at least two games in the three-game series.
How to watch and stream the Dodgers vs. the St. Louis Cardinals
Here’s how to watch this week’s three-game series between the Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium:
How to stream
Spectrum SportsNet LA is available with a subscription to AT&T TV “Choice Plan” ($84.99 / mo.). You can stream the game on your Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and your browser.
Fans outside of the Los Angeles market can stream the games using MLB.TV.
How to watch on TV
Spectrum SportsNet LA and SportsNet LA Desportes are carrying the games on cable and satellite providers.
How to listen
In Los Angeles, the games can be heard on 570 AM or 1020 AM (Español).
Column: A slump or something else? Mookie Betts hasn’t been himself this season
Mookie Betts was absent.
Whether he’s physically on the field, or, as was the case Sunday, not, the Dodgers have spent the majority of the year without the version of their $365-million outfielder who transformed them into World Series champions.
Betts is batting .240.
His defensive metrics are below league average.
He just doesn’t look right.
The most recent setback in a maddening season came on the morning of a series finale against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. Betts woke up with symptoms of an unspecified allergic reaction, according to manager Dave Roberts.
What Dodgers fans can learn about Albert Pujols from his St. Louis Cardinals career
Derrick Goold has been covering the St. Louis Cardinals for 18 seasons for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, including the last eight seasons of Albert Pujols’career, during which he had a front-row seat to not only one of the most ferocious primes in the sport’s history, but also to the future Hall of Famer’s gentle influence in the clubhouse, which still defines the Dodgers’ slugger to this day.
Tonight Pujols will face the Cardinals for the first time as member of the Dodgers, with whom he officially signed on May 17. Though he is only hitting .210 with Los Angeles, Pujols is coming off a series against the San Francisco Giants in which he hit two home runs and was robbed of a game-winning third by Mike Tauchman on Friday night. He also surpassed Babe Ruth on the all-time extra-base hit list.
In a weekend interview with The Los Angeles Times, Goold — a 2019 and 2020 Associated Press Sports Editors Award winner in the beat writer category and the host of “The Best Podcast in Baseball,”— discussed the Cardinals own internal conversations about signing Pujols, how he will be received when he returns to St. Louis in September and the impact Pujols has on teammates, especially young ones.