Sharp Lackey leads Cardinals over Dodgers
ST. LOUIS -- Meeting the Dodgers for the first time since sending them home in the 2014 postseason, the Cardinals ran their winning streak to five games with a 3-0 win in front of 44,223 at Busch Stadium on Friday. The two teams entered the night boasting the National League's best records.
After retiring the final 23 hitters he faced in his last start, Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger allowed the first three Cardinals batters he saw to reach. St. Louis scored a first-inning run on a double play with the bases loaded, snapping Bolsinger's scoreless innings streak at 18 2/3. Randal Grichuk's RBI double in the third gave the Cardinals as many runs in Bolsinger's six-inning start Friday as four other teams had in 25 1/3 innings against him previously this year.
"He did a nice job," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Bolsinger. "Didn't look like he had a real good curveball tonight, but he hung in there, kept pitching, mixing. I thought he did a nice job for us."
Cardinals starter John Lackey was stingier. He tossed seven shutout innings while lowering his season ERA to 2.83. It was the fourth time in six May starts that Lackey had allowed one or fewer runs in an outing.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 19-5 at Busch Stadium, their best season start at home in franchise history.
"Guys really like playing here," Lackey said. "We really like to play good baseball here. It kind of works both ways. They get fired up to watch us play, and it helps us out."
The Dodgers have been shut out in four straight road games. Their scoreless drought away from home sits at 37 innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cleaning up: Batting fourth for the first time in his career, Grichuk pushed the Cardinals' lead to two by following shortstop Jhonny Peralta's two-out double with his own in the third. Grichuk, who had been 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and two outs, was helped by Dodgers left fielder Alex Guerrero taking a circuitous route toward the line drive. Grichuk had hit into a double play in his previous at-bat.
"We got the 'W,'" Grichuk said. "Obviously, I felt like I could have had better ABs on a couple of those, or some better swings on balls. But we got the 'W', so I'll take it."
Early exits: Mattingly and Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis were ejected in the top and bottom halves of the seventh inning, respectively, for taking issue with the strike zone of home plate umpire Mike Winters. Mattingly's ejection came after an Andre Ethier strikeout, the first out of an inning that started with back-to-back singles and ended with Lackey recording three consecutive outs to silence a potential Los Angeles rally.
"It just felt like the borderline pitches were going every which direction," Ellis said. "It didn't feel like anything was really established, and sometimes it feels like those are the hardest strike zones to play with." More >
Jhonny be good: With Matt Holliday sidelined by illness, Peralta moved up to hit third on Friday. From there, he reached base in all three of the Cardinals' run-scoring innings. He doubled and scored in the third and then doubled home a run in the seventh. Peralta is 7-for-16 on this homestand.
"Very impressive. That's a tough assignment there, too, [against a] lefty. But that was a great indication of the fact that it looks like he's pretty healthy to me." -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, on Jon Jay's 13-pitch single off reliever Paco Rodriguez in Jay's first at-bat since May 9.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
After Mattingly's ejection, Los Angeles bench coach Tim Wallach unsuccessfully challenged a stolen base by Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong in the seventh. Wong then scored on an RBI double by Peralta to put St. Louis ahead, 3-0. The review lasted two minutes, 26 seconds.
Dodgers: Carlos Frias makes his first ever appearance against the Cardinals and just the eighth start of his Major League career as he takes the hill for the Dodgers in a 4:15 p.m. PT game on FOX that will feature Statcast™ technology as a part of the broadcast.
Cardinals: Michael Wacha will seek to become the National League's first eight-game winner when he takes the mound for St. Louis at Busch Stadium on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. CT. The Cardinals are 9-0 in Wacha's starts this season.
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