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Thank you again for joining us for LIVE Major League Baseball coverage. Next Sunday night, the Cincinnati Reds take on the Chicago Cubs in a N.L. Central showdown.
Trevor Rosenthal gets the save, his 19th.
The loser is Juan Nicasio: 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H
The winner is Kevin Siegrist: 1 IP, 3 K in relief.
The final score is St. Louis 4, Los Angeles 2.
High fly to deep right center, and Peter Bourjos runs it down and makes the catchon the dead run. That ends the ball game!
That last chance is in the person of Jimmy Rollins.
Swing and a miss for strike three and out two. One more chance for the Dodgers.
The pinch hitter is Alex Guerrero -- .286, 10 HR, 26 RBI.
HIGH POP FLY behind the plate. Molina chases it to the fence and makes the play. 1 away!
Molina stays in the game behind the plate, and Trevor Rosenthal is on for the save. He is 1-0 with a 0.67 ERA and 18 saves.
Yasmani Grandal is 0 for 3. He steps in to lead off the ninth.
Bottom of the ninth, and the Dodgers will count on the bottom of the order -- Grandal, Howell's pinch hitter, and Hendrick -- to keep it alive.
Wong bloops it into right, and Puig runs it down to retire the side. Last chance for the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth, trailing 4-2.
Howell has a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings this season.
Kolten Wong will face Howell. Wong is 1 for 4 and hitting .310.
Garcia threw three pitches and recorded four outs -- a novelty in itself.
Pitching change: J.P. Howell replaces Yimi Garcia.
Ground ball to third, and Turner makes the throw to first for Out #2. Gonzalez had to scopp and save Turner the error.
Yadier Molina (.280, 0 HR, 20 RBI) is the pinch hitter.
Tony Cruz pops up the first pitch to left, and Ethier is there for the easy out.
Top 9: Due up for St. Louis are Cruz, Belilse (pinch hitter), and Wong.
Andre Ethier (0 for 2, BB) strikes out swinging to end the inning. Nothing doing for the Dodgers in the eighth. 4-1 Cardinals as we go to the ninth.
HARD grounder to Carpenter, who makes a nice back-handed play. He throws to first for the out. 2 down.
Turner steps in to face Belilse with one out and the bases empty. Trevor Rosenthal is warming up.
Pitching change: Matt Belilse replaces Randy Chote. Chote got the only man he faced.
Justin Turner has two hits and has drive in two runs. He will get a new pitcher as Chote exits after doing his job.
Adrian Gonzalez is 0 for 3. He grounds to Peralta at shortstop for the first out.
If the Dodgers lose, this will be their first home series loss of the season.
Bourjos stays in the game to play left, and Randy Chote is the new Cardinals pitcher. Chote is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 10 1.3 innings.
B8: The Dodgers have Gonzalez, Turner, and Ethier coming up now trailing by two.
Line drive double play right back to Garcia on the first pitch. He flips to second to get Reynolds. The Cardinals get three runs and take the lead 4-2 heading into the bottom of the eight.
Garcia's first hitter is Jon Jay.
Nicasio did not fare well: 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, and a runner on base is his responsibility. He also allowed an inherited runner to score.
Pitching change: Yimi Garcia replaces Juan Nicasio.
LONG HARD drive into the gap and off the left-center-field wall. Peralta comes around to score, and Reynolds pulls into second with a double It is now 4-2 Cardinals.
Mark Reynolds is 1 for 3. The game is now up to the bullpens. It is now Siegrist vs. Nicasio.
Fly ball to left field, it is over the wall in foul territory, but Ethier reaches over the wall and makes tha catch! 1 away.
Jason Heyward steps up with a man on and nobody out. Remember that he cut down a run at the plate a few innings ago.
Ground ball base hit, scoring Bourjos. The Cardinals lead now 3-2. That is the third hit for Peralta, and it comes at a great time!
The ruling for Holliday is double, E-9, no RBI. Either way, the run counts, and the game is tied.
Peter Bourjos is the pinch runner for Holliday at third with Jhonny Peralta at the plate.
Holliday lines it into the corner, and it gets past Puig and goes into the corner. Carpenter scores, and Holliday goets into third with an RBI triple. The score is tied at 2.
Nicasio has a 1.48 ERA on the season. He faces Holliday as his first hitter. Runner at first, nobody out.
Pitching change: Juan Nicasio replaces Lieberatore.
Lead-off walk to Carpenter brings about a pitching change as Matt Holliday steps into the box.
Carpenter steps in to face Lieberatore.
Top 8: Cardinals have Carpenter, Holliday, and Peralta coming to the plate trailing by a run.
Kevin Siegrist strikes out the side getting Puig on a high fastball. After seven, 2-1 Dodgers.
Strike three called, and Pederson is out. He is upset with the call but does not even look back. 2 down.
Kendrick foul tips it into the mitt of Cruz for strike three. 1 away for the lead-off man, Joc Pederson.
On the first pitch, Kendrick's bat flies into the stands. It reminds us of the lady hit in the head in Boston. She is showing signs of recovery, thankfully. This one was harmless, but the topic of extra netting comes up.
Kendrick will lead off. He is hitting .285 with 5 HR and 23 RBI.
B7: Spots 9-1-2 are due up for the Dodgers in the bottom of the seventh: Kendrick (correction), Pederson, and Puig.
Wong swings and misses a change up to end the inning. One hit, no runs. We go to the bottom of the seventh with the Dodgers leading 2-1.
Lieberatore is 1-1 with a 2.76 ERA in 16 1/3 innings pitched.
Kolten Wong steps in to face Adam Lieberatore. Howie Kendrick is the new second baseman. He will hit ninth, and Lieberatore will move into the #8 spot.
Greinke's line: 99 pitches, 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. He is the pitcher of record to date and is responsible for a runner at first.
Pitching change: Adam Lieberatore replaces Zack Greinke.
Grichuk is hitting .278. He swings and misses for strike three. 2 away.
Lefty Adam Lieberatore is up in the Dodgers' bullpen.
Randal Grichuk is the pinch hitter for Matt Harris. Kevin Siegrist is up in the Cardinals' bullpen.
Cruz finds the hole on the left side for a base hit, his second of the night.
High, lazy pop fly to center, and Joc Pederson camps under it. 1 away.
Jon Jay leads off the top of the seventh.
Top of the 7th: The Cardinals will send up Jay, Cruz, and a pinch hitter for Harris.
No replay challenge on a close play. After six complete, the Dodgers still lead it 2-1.
BASE HIT into right. Jason Heyward comes up firing. Here's the play at the plate, and Ethier is..... .OUT!
Harris will pitch to Rollins with first base open and Greinke (2 for 2) on deck. Cather/pitcher meeting on the mound.
Hernandez bounces to third, and Ethier has to hold. Easy out at first. 2 down for Jimmy Rollins.
Andre Ethier steals second base with Enrique Hernandez batting. That is his first stolen base since last Augut 29.
High fly ball to right. It is deep, but Jon Jay grabs it on the warning track. 1 away as Ethier retreats to first.
Ball four puts Ethier on with a lead-off walk. That brings up Yasmani Grandal (0 for 2).
Lynn's line reads 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 98 pitches. He kept his team in the game and got a run back.
Matt Harris takes over for Lance Lynn in the bottom of the sixth. He faces Andre Ethier to start the inning.
Bottom 6: Ethier, Grandal, and Hernandez are coming up for Los Angeles.
Mark Reynolds grounds to third, and Turner makes the easy throw to first to retire the side. The Cardinals get a run on Peralta's home run. After 5 1/2, the Dodgers lead 2-1.
Heyward hits an easy fly ball to center, and Andre Etiher is there for Out #2.
That is Perata's ninth home run of the season.
Peralta hits it high, far, and GONE! for the solo home run (9). That puts the Cardinals on the board as L.A. leads 2-1.
Next Sunday night, the Cincinnati Reds visit Wrigley Field to face the Chicago Cubs.
Holliday lines it to Puig in right field for the first out.
Top 6: Cardinals will send up Holliday, Peralta, and Heyward.
Another high pop fly -- this one to right, and Jason Heyward is right there to retire the side. After five, the Dodgers still ead 2-0.
Justin Turner is 2 for 2 with 2 RBI on a double and a single.
High pop fly to left, and Holliday is there to make the play. 2 down.
Adrian Gonzalez is 0 for 2 as he steps in.
Popped up to shallw center, and Jon Jay rushes in to make the catch. 1 away.
Yes, it is Matt Belisle in the Cardinals' bullpen.
Lynn says he is fine and will stay in the game. The Cardinals have a man up in the bullpen. It looks like Matt Belisle, but it is hard to tell. It is a right-hander.
Cardinals trainers are on the mound to check out Lance Lynn.
Ball four to Pederson puts runners at first and second with nobody out for Yasiel Puig.
Joc Pederson is 0 for 2.
Greinke rips the first pitch into center for his second hit.
Greinke is 1 for 1 with a run scored.
B6: The Dodgers have Greinke, Pederson, and Puig due up.
Strike three on another slider in the dirt. That ends the inning, and for the third straight inning, the Cardinals waste a lead-off hit. It is still 2-0 Dodgers.
Grounded to second, and Hernandez throws to first for Out #2. Cruz moves into third on the play as Matt Carpenter (0 for 1, K, BB) comes up with another RBI opportunity.
Runner at second with one out for the lead-off man, Kolten Wong. He is 1 for 2.
Lynn will hit. As expected, he squares to bunt. He does his job, advancing the runner to second. Grandal gets the out at first.
Base hit into center field, and Cruz is aboard with a lead-off single.
Tony Cruz steps in to lead off the top of the fifth.
Top 5: Due up for the Cardinals -- Cruz, Lynn, and Wong. Will Lance Lynn hit and stay in, or will Mike Matheny pinch hit for him and go to the bullpen? We will see very soon.
Jimmy Rollins skies one to right center, and Jon Jay makes the easy catch. 2-0 Dodgers after four complete.
Hernandez strikes out swinging for Out #2.
Lance Lynn is still in, but he is approaching 80 pitches before long. He is throwing under 90 mph, which may draw some interest from the dugout. It;s only the fourth inning.
Grandal is 0 for 1. He bounces to second, and Wong makes the easy play for Out #1.
Bottom 4: Dodgers have Grandal, Hernandez, and Rollins coming up.
Broken-bat pop up to Hernandez at second base. He puts it away to retire the side. The Cardinals waste a lead-off double and trail 2-0 after 3 1/2.
Jon Jay is 0 for 1.
Reynolds misses a good fastball for Out #2. 93 mph looks much faster after all those sliders.
Meeting at the mound -- just pitcher and catcher.
Mark Reynolds steps in with a man on second and one out.
Heyward chases one WAY out of the zone for strike three! 1 away.
Double off the left-field wall for a lead-off double. Peralta one-hopped the wall. Man on second for Jason Heyward.
Jhonny Peralta leads it off.
Top 4: Due for St. Louis: Peralta, Heyward, and Reynolds
Lynn strikes out Ethier to end the inning, but the Dodgers pick up a run. After three, they lead 2-0.
Andre Ethier is 0 for 1. Lynn has thrown 63 pitches already, so he may not last much longer. Many of those pitches are from two-strike foul balls.
Lined into right center! Greinke scores, Puig to second, and Turner is aboard. 2-0 Dodgers on Turner's second RBI of the night -- 2B and 1B.
Lined to left but right at Holliday. 2 down for Justin Turner.
Line drive base hit into left. Two men on, 1 out for the heart of the order. Adrian Gonzalez is next.
Yasiel Puig (.298, 2 HR, 5 RBI) is 1 for 1.
Popped up to left, and Holliday tracks it down in foul territory for the first out.
Joc Pederson (0 for 1, .280. 17 HR, 33 RBI). He had a recent stretch of home runs in five straight games from May 31-June 3 including both games of a double-header.
Looping liner into center for a lead-off single. Greinke is aboard for the top of the order.
Greinke (.136, 1 RBI) is a career .211 hitter with 4 HR and 12 RBI.
Bottom 3: Due up are Greinke, Pederson, and Puig.
Strike three swinging! The Cardinals leave two men on and do not score. 1-0 Dodgers after 2 1/2.
Ball four is well inside and puts two men on for Matt Holliday -- .410 with RISP and 2 HR off Greinke.
Greinke is pitching around Carpenter -- nothing close to the plate.
Matt Carpenter (0 for 1) has a chance at an RBI. He is hitting .483 with runners in scoring position.
Line drive off the top of the right-field wall right down the line for a double. It just missed going out by a few inches. Remember that very shrt fence right down the lines at Dodger Stadium. The ball hit the top of it in right.
Wong is 0 for 1.
HIGH pop fly to Jimmy Rollins at short for Out #2.
Lynn is hitting .190 with 5 RBI.
Cruz (.182, 0 HR, 2 RBI) rolls it down the first-base line. Greinke fields it, misses the tag, but flips to Gonzalez for the out.
Tony Cruz is catching. There is nothing wrong with Yadier Molina; he is jus getting a night off.
Top 3: Cardinals will send up Tony Cruz, Lance Lynn, and Kolten Wong.
Jimmy Rollins (.206) flies to center, and Jon Jay runs it down to retire the side. 1-0 Dodgers after two complete.
Enrique Hernandez (.295, 2 HR, 5 RBI) chops it to Wong at second. Wong gets the play at first for Out #2.
High pop fly to right. Heyward camps under it for the out. 1 away.
Yasmani Grandal (.283, 5 HR, 20 RBI) leads off.
Bottom 2: Dodgers have Grandal, Hernandez, and Rollins coming up.
Jay (.235, 0 HR, 6 RBI) chases that slider for strike three. 1 hit, 0 runs. Bottom of the second coming up with the Didgers ahead 1-0.
Lofted into left for a single. Off the end of the bat and drops in safely. 1 on, 2 out for Jon Jay.
Mark Reynolds (.246, 3 HR, 16 RBI). Matt Adams may miss the rest of the season because of surgery to his quadriceps.
Heyward grounds to 3B Turner, who is playing in the shift. Easy play to first for Out #2.
Greinke has the slider working very well so far tonight. It has A LOT of dip to it and is fooling hitters.
Peralta strikes out on three pitches. A foul and two swings and misses. 1 away for Jason Heyward.
Jhonny Peralta (.313, 8 HR, 32 RBI)
Top 2: Peralta, Heyward, and Reynolds are due up for St. Louis.
It is a 27-pitch inning for Lance Lynn as he gives up one run on two hits. After one, Dodgers lead 1-0.
Strike three to Ethier retired the side.
Turner has a .999 OPS vs. right-handed pitching this year per Buster Olney.
Andre Ethier (.288, 7 HR, 22 RBI)
Lined into the left-field gap and all the way to the wall. Puig comes all the way around to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. RBI double for Justin Turner.
Justin Turner (.301, 5 HR, 21 RBI) is the clean-up hitter.
Swing and a miss for strike three. He chased an outside fastball.
1 on, 1 out for Adrian Gonzalez (.337, 11 HR, 39 RBI).
Hard shot into left field for a base hit -- right under the glove of Jhonny Peralta.
Yasiel Puig spent over a month on the disabled list. He came back Saturday night and drove in a run.
Pederson takes strike three on the inside corner. He did not like that call. He stood there for a moment before walking off.
Joc Pederson leads off. He is the front runner for N.L. Rookie of the Year.
The Cardinals have not it a home run yet in June, but they have still kept winning. 4-2 so far in June.
Bottom 1: Joc Pederson (.262), Yasiel Puig (.282), and Adrian Gonzalez (.337) are coming up.
Grounder to third, and Turner makes the easy play to first base to retire the side. No score after a half inning.
Matt Holliday steps in with two out and the bases empty.
Strike three right down the middle fooled Carpenter. He is out on three pitches. Great slider from Greinke.
Matt Carpenter was hit last night, and we were not sure he would start tonight. He is in the lineup and ow at the plate.
Gonzalez had to leap for the throw, but he got the bag before Wong hit.
Wong leads off with a slow roller to second base. It is a claose play at first, but he is out. 1 away.
Top 1: St. Louis leads off with Kolten Wong (.311), Matt Carpenter (.308), Matt Holliday (.306).
We are five minutes away from the first pitch.
Keys to the game: Scoring runs early and avoiding defensive mistakes will determine who wins this game. Both starting pitchers are capable of going deep into games, and having a lead will boost their chances of doing so. Either team can take advantage of a missed play of any kind, so defense will certainly prove itself just as vital as offense and pitching. Look for a low-scoring game between two of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball.
The Cardinals’ starting lineup:
1. Kolten Wong, 2B
2. Matt Carpenter, 3B
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Jhonny Peralta, SS
5. Jason Heyward, RF
6. Mark Reynolds, 1B
7. Jon Jay, CF
8. Tony Cruz, C
9. Lance Lynn, P
The Dodgers’ starting lineup:
1. Joc Pederson, CF
2. Yasiel Puig, RF
3. Ardian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Justin Turner, 3B
5. Andre Ethier, LF
6. Yasmani Grandal, C
7. Enrique Hernandez, 2B
8. Jimmy Rollins, SS
9. Zack Greinke, P
Dodgers’ starting pitcher
Zack Greinke (5-1, 1.97) is all-world so far this season. He has made 11 starts and allowed only 16 earned runs in 17 innings while compiling a WHIP of 0.95. He would have the #1 rotation spot on any other team, and with Clayton Kershaw scuffling just a bit, Greinke could claim it in Los Angeles. Last time out, Greinke did struggle in giving up five runs in six innings -- but getting no decision -- against the Colorado Rockies on June 2.
Cardinals’ starting pitcher
Lance Lynn (4-4, 3.03 ERA) has made himself a mainstay in the Cardinals’ rotation. He has made 11 starts so far, allowing 25 earned runs in 68 1/3 innings while compiling a very good 1.29 WHIP. In his last start, Lynn pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings in defeating the Milwaukee Brewers on June 2.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers rank third with 248 and runs scored, helped by a .336 on-base percentage. Joc Pederson looks more like a proven veteran than a rookie with his .262/.385/.586, 17 HR, 33 RBI line. Look for him to take Rookie of the Year honors barring a major second-half collapse. Adrian Gonzalez has driven in 39 runs with 11 HR.
The Cardinals are ninth in the National League in runs scored (226), but they have two men (Matt Carpenter with 30 and Jhonny Peralta with 33) with 30+ RBI . Carpenter and Peralta also lead the team with eight home runs each. Carpenter left Saturday's game after getting hit by a pitch, so we will have to see if can play tonight.
The Cardinals have also lost first baseman Matt Adams for the season, but with their strong pitching, the Cardinals are scoring more than enough runs to take a huge lead in their division.
Los Angeles starters are fifth in the Majors and third in the National League with a 3.47 ERA. Four of the five starters are at 3.36 and below with Greinke leading at 1.97. The bullpen has a 3.11 ERA, fourth in the National League. Kenley Janssen has returned to go 6 for 6 in saves, and he has yet to allow a run.
As play began on June 7, The Cardinals pitching staff leads the Major Leagues in ERA at 2.59, half a run better than the second-ranked Pittsburgh Pirates. Starters have a 2.83 combined ERA, even with the loss of Adam Wainwright, and the bullpen is at 2.07, which ranks second in the Majors. Closer Trevor Rosenthal has a 0.67 ERA and is 18 for 19 in save opportunities.
Following this four-game series, which concludes tonight, the Cardinals will complete their road trip with three games against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. After an off day Thursday, the Cardinals open a five-game Interleague home stand with the Kansas City Royals for three and Minnesota Twins for two. Los Angeles has a three-game home series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, a day off Thursday, and a five-game road trip at the San Diego Padres for three and Texas Rangers for two.
This four-game series began Thursday night with the Cardinals winning Game 1 7-1. A pitchers’ duel saw St. Louis edge out a 2-1 win Friday. On Saturday, Los Angeles got Yasiel Puig back from the disabled list as they shut out the Cardinals and walked away with a 2-0 victory. Tonight, the Dodgers look to even up the series. St. Louis has won four of the six meetings on the season so far, and the two teams will not meet again – at least not in the regular season.
Entering play on June 7, the St. Louis Cardinals (37-19) held a 6.5-game lead in the Central and the Majors’ best record. Out West, the Los Angeles Dodgers (32-24) have the slimmest of leads, 0.5 games. These two division leaders square off Sunday night as Lance Lynn (4-4, 3.03 ERA) takes on Zack Greinke (5-1, 1.97).
At this point in the Major League Baseball season, we are starting to see which teams will contend for a postseason berth and a division title and which teams will simply play out the string in the second half. In the National League, two of the three divisions (N.L. East and West) appear up for grabs, but that is not the case in the N.L. Central.