Clayton Kershaw took the high road when St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny opted to start Adam Wainwright in the All-Star game.
If Kershaw is upset about that, he can take it out on Matheny's club by ending his woes at Busch Stadium.
The Los Angeles Dodgers' ace tries to win his ninth straight start Sunday night and end a four-start road losing streak against the Cardinals.
Matheny chose to go with Wainwright and his major league-best 1.83 ERA on Tuesday over Kershaw (11-2, 1.78 ERA), who did not qualify for the lead since he missed more than a month due to an inflamed back muscle. The move may have backfired since Wainwright gave up three runs in the first inning and Kershaw pitched a scoreless second in the NL's 5-3 defeat.
Kershaw, who has posted a 0.74 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 61 innings while winning his last eight outings, said he understood the decision.
"I haven't talked to Mike but I don't have to talk to him. If I'm him, I'm probably going to pick Adam too," he said. "It's his guy and he had the best half so he's been the best guy in the game the first half. Obviously I would have loved to get to do it but to me it'd be a pretty easy decision if I was him."
Kershaw's scoreless innings streak was snapped at 41 on July 10 at San Diego as he struck out 11 in a three-hitter to win 2-1. His run included seven innings of five-hit ball with 13 strikeouts in a 6-0 win over the Cardinals (54-44) on June 29.
That ended the left-hander's drought in which he went 0-5 with a 6.59 ERA in his previous five outings against St. Louis. Four of those came on the road, including two defeats in last year's NL championship series.
The Dodgers' season ended last year when Kershaw was tagged for seven runs over four-plus innings in a humiliating 9-0 defeat in Game 6 of that series.
Kershaw had trouble prior to this year against Matt Holliday, who was 9 for 30 with 10 walks against him before going 0 for 3 last month.
Holliday will play a day after he was shaken up while diving back into second base on a pickoff attempt in the first inning. He was taken out for a pinch-hitter in the fifth as a precaution.
The Cardinals have won five straight overall at home over the Dodgers (54-45) after Saturday's 4-2 victory.
Carlos Martinez (2-4, 4.43) will make his seventh straight start for St. Louis after 30 appearances out of the bullpen. He is 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA as a starter.
The right-hander has failed to get out of the fifth inning both times he has faced Los Angeles, going 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA. Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig each are 3 for 5 against him.
However, Puig will not play after getting hit in the hand by a pitch on Saturday.