St. Louis Cardinals (44-38) at Los Angeles Dodgers (46-37), 4:10 p.m. (ET)
06/29/2014 10:08 AM
06/29/2014 10:08 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will close out what has been a fantastic month for the left-hander, as he gets the call Sunday in the finale of a four-game series versus the St. Louis Cardinals.
Kershaw is 5-0 in his five June starts with a microscopic 0.97 earned run average, and his first-career no-hitter occurred on June 18 versus Colorado. He followed that epic performance in last Tuesday's 2-0 win at Kansas City and threw eight scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.
The southpaw is 8-2 with a 2.24 ERA this season and has struck out at least seven batters in seven straight starts. Kershaw leads the league with 11.70 strikeouts per nine innings as a starting pitcher and has 94 strikeouts against just nine walks in 72 1/3 innings this season.
Kershaw is 3-1 at Dodger Stadium this season and has held opponents to a .187 batting average there. He has made 12 career starts against the Cardinals, going 4-5 with a 3.75 ERA. Kershaw last faced St. Louis in the NLCS.
Los Angeles hopes to ride Kershaw to a series win over the Cardinals and recorded a 9-1 triumph on Saturday behind Zack Greinke's 10th win of the season (10-4). He struck out 10 batters and allowed a run in seven innings of work, walking none.
"It seemed like everything went our way today," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We didn't expect a game like today against those guys."
Juan Uribe had two RBI, Dee Gordon ended with three hits and an RBI and Yasiel Puig finished with two hits and two runs scored. A.J. Ellis, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier finished with two hits and an RBI apiece for the Dodgers, who are one game behind struggling San Francisco for the NL West lead and have won 11 of the last 15 games, including seven of nine at home.
The Dodgers will host Cleveland next for three games.
Dodgers infielders Hanley Ramirez and Justin Turner both left Saturday's game with injuries and could rest versus the Cardinals.
St. Louis fell 6 1/2 games off the pace in the NL Central with last night's loss and had won four of five games before this series.
Matt Carpenter homered in the third inning for the Cardinals and starting pitcher Lance Lynn was touched for seven runs -- six earned -- in two innings. Lynn was dealing with a blister on his hand.
"We saw some things that were uncharacteristic for Lynn," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "One was to go two innings and get hit like that. Monday is an off day and it couldn't come at a better time."
The Cardinals will visit San Francisco next for three games to close out a 10- game western road trip.
Taking the ball for the Cards on Sunday will be Shelby Miller. Miller is 7-6 with a 3.75 ERA and lasted only 2 2/3 innings of a 10-5 loss at Colorado on Tuesday, charged with three runs and six hits with five walks. He was forced to leave the game because of mid-back spasms.
Miller has a 1-4 mark in his last five decisions and is 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA in three career games (2 starts) against LA.
This series, of course, is the first between these teams since the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers, four games to two, in the NLCS. Los Angeles did win the season series, however, 4-3.