The Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in a very good position in the NL West following a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Clayton Kershaw may have had his impressive streak end, but it didn’t matter thanks to a ninth inning clutch hit from Adrian Gonzalez.
Kershaw went into the game with a streak of seven straight starts without surrendering more than one run, but he ended up giving the Cardinals three. First off a single from Allen Craig, putting the Cardinals on the board in the second, and in the sixth inning it was a two-run homer for Peter Bourjos, only his third of the season. Kershaw gave up six hits in seven innings before letting the relief crew finish the job.
J.P. Howell only needed one out to pick up the win (2-3), while Kenley Jansen got his 28th save of the season, striking out one batter in his ninth inning closing performance. The Cardinals got a disappointing ninth inning from Trevor Rosenthal, who gave up two hits, including the RBI from Gonzalez which brought home Miguel Rojas, coming in to pinch run for A.J. Ellis. Rosenthal continues his bad season with a 1-5 record and 3.47 ERA.
The Dodgers also got RBIs from Juan Uribe, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, finishing with 11 hits on 35 at bats overall. Uribe finished with 3-for-4 at the plate; Etheir, Kemp and Dee Gordon also finished with multiple hits. Bourjos and Jhonny Peralta got in a couple of hits each for the Cardinals, who did terribly with runners in scoring positions, whiffing out on all five opportunities, compared with the impressive 5-for-14 the Dodgers produced.
There were some tense moments during the game, which led to warnings being given to both benches. Carlos Martinez hit Hanley Ramirez with a pitch in the shoulder, and Clayton Kershaw retaliated by plunking Matt Holliday shortly afterwards. All he had to say about was that he has a ton of respect for Holliday. That respect didn’t bother him from trying to injure him as an act of retaliation that needs to disappear from this sport.
The Dodgers are tied with the San Francisco Giants for the lead in the NL West at 55-45, although they’ve played two games more. Adrian Gonzalez reached 61 RBIs this season, putting him fourth on the NL list behind Giancarlo Stanton, Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew McCutchen. Unlike the others, Gonzalez isn’t doing this with home runs (only 14 so far this season) or with accurate hitting, so far batting only .250 this season.