Los Angeles at St. Louis

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L.A. Dodgers (60-69) «0060120009130
St. Louis (67-63)0100002014112

Dodgers get first road sweep of season, topple Cards

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- For the second straight day, the Los Angeles Dodgers leaned on a big inning. For the second straight day, the St. Louis Cardinals found themselves hopelessly behind.

Juan Rivera homered and knocked in three runs and the Dodgers scored an early knockout with a six-run third, completing their first road sweep of the season with a 9-4 victory on Wednesday. The Cardinals have been swept twice at home and Rivera homered in both, helping the Blue Jays take a three-game set from June 24-26 before the Dodgers traded for him in July.

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"We're putting up a lot of runs lately and we're not stopping," James Loney said. "We've had some big innings and we're coming back and putting up some more."

The Cardinals were outscored 24-7 in the Dodgers' first three-game sweep in St. Louis since Aug. 20-22, 1993, and have dropped seven of nine overall. They failed to take advantage of a rare loss by NL Central-leading Milwaukee, remaining 10 games back with 32 to go.

"Especially when you get swept at home, that's as bad as it can get," manager Tony La Russa said. "The last two games, we've been out of it."

Hiroki Kuroda (10-14) worked seven solid innings in 98-degree heat with a huge cushion and A.J. Ellis hit his first career homer off of Jaime Garcia (10-7) to give the Dodgers a two-day total of six long balls. Matt Kemp had two singles and two RBI, his fourth multihit effort in five games, and Loney had three hits with a pair of doubles and an RBI.

"We've swung the bats good the last couple of days, but you look at the long haul and we really haven't been able to sustain that," manager Don Mattingly said.

Despite a 2.92 ERA, Kuroda needed 26 starts to get to double figures in victories. The Dodgers have totaled 24 runs his last three outings, all victories, but in 12 of his starts have scored two or fewer runs.

"I had a good rhythm from the beginning of the game, especially throwing that first-pitch breaking ball," Kuroda said through an interpreter. "Having the run support makes a lot of difference.

"I was able to try out a lot of different patterns, unlike many other games I've had during the season."

The Cardinals trailed 6-0 before Garcia got his first at-bat leading off the third and a day earlier it was 7-0 before Kyle Lohse struck out for the final out of the second.

La Russa said he wouldn't do anything like asking veterans to hold a meeting, saying it would shift blame from the coaching staff to players.

"We're all in this thing together, we talk all the time, and we'll get it fixed together," La Russa said. "Whether I talk or don't talk or some talk, whatever."

St. Louis was 1½ games behind the Brewers after acquiring Edwin Jackson and Rafael Furcal at the trade deadline, but is 10-13 since while the Brewers have gone 24-5. Gerald Laird hit his first National League homer, a two-run drive in the seventh and Skip Schumaker had four hits and an RBI for St. Louis.

Eight straight Dodgers reached safely to start a six-run third that matched their season best and put them up 6-1. The rally was kicked off by a pair of walks followed by six straight hits that produced at least one RBI.

Garcia said he should have taken more time between pitches. Instead, the lefty rushed it a bit.

"When stuff like that happens, you've got to step off and think about the pitch you're going to make," Garcia said. "Just relax for a little bit and try to limit the damage.

"I'm not going to lie, sometimes I don't do a very good job. But I'm trying."

Garcia, who had been 6-3 with a 2.06 ERA at home, finally recorded his first out of the inning on Kuroda's sacrifice and gave up seven runs in five innings. He's 0-3 in his last six starts and has lasted just five innings four of the last five outings.

Kuroda has won four of his last five starts and is 3-2 with a 2.11 ERA in six day starts. The right-hander allowed three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and a walk.

The Dodgers finished 4-3 against the Cardinals for their first series win since 2003 and took the lead in the series at 1,002-1,001.

Schumaker had five straight hits, all singles, after pitching the ninth in a 13-2 shellacking Tuesday night.

Notes

  • The Dodgers are off Thursday, then play 24 straight days beginning with a six-game homestand against the Rockies and Padres. Ted Lilly (7-13, 4.58) opposes Colorado's Esmil Rogers (6-2, 6.00) on Friday night.
  • Edwin Jackson (9-9, 4.03) faces Charlie Morton (9-6, 3.42) as the Cardinals open a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.
  • Rod Barajas' 11th multihomer game Tuesday was the Dodgers' first by a catcher since Russell Martin on Aug. 15, 2007 against the Astros.
  • Kuroda has eight consecutive quality starts, longest for the Dodgers since Randy Wolf also had eight in a row Aug. 11-Sept. 26, 2009.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Juan Rivera has three RBI for the Dodgers, and scores as he slides past the tag of Cards catcher Gerald Laird. (Getty Images)
Juan Rivera has three RBI for the Dodgers, and scores as he slides past the tag of Cards catcher Gerald Laird. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

A. Ellis
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Los Angeles

J. Rivera
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Justin Sellers, SS4110100 .267
Tony Gwynn Jr., LF4110103 .258
Matt Kemp, CF5222022 .322
Juan Rivera, RF5223021 .268
    Matt Guerrier, P0000000 .000
Casey Blake, 3B5111010 .247
James Loney, 1B5131010 .271
Jamey Carroll, 2B5010012 .291
A.J. Ellis, C4122010 .245
Hiroki Kuroda, P2000012 .082
   a- Eugenio Velez, PH1000000 .000
    Mike MacDougal, P0000000 .000
    Trent Oeltjen, RF0000000 .245
Totals40913929  
a-grounded out for Kuroda in the 8th
Batting
2B - Juan Rivera (20, Garcia), James Loney 2 (17, Garcia, Dotel)
HR - Juan Rivera (9, McClellan), A.J. Ellis (1, Garcia)
SH - Hiroki Kuroda (5)
RBI - Matt Kemp 2 (97), Juan Rivera 3 (50), Casey Blake (24), James Loney (41), A.J. Ellis 2 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Juan Rivera 2 (23), A.J. Ellis (3)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Kuroda-Sellers-Loney
Los Angeles Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Hiroki Kuroda (W,10-14) 7833141 2.92
Mike MacDougal 1100010 2.14
Matt Guerrier 1211010 3.70
WP - Hiroki Kuroda (12)
Pitches-Strikes - Hiroki Kuroda 102-71, Mike MacDougal 19-12, Matt Guerrier 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hiroki Kuroda 10-5, Mike MacDougal 2-0, Matt Guerrier 1-1
Batters Faced - Hiroki Kuroda 28, Mike MacDougal 4, Matt Guerrier 5
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jon Jay, CF4000111 .296
Rafael Furcal, SS4010011 .204
Albert Pujols, 1B4010021 .289
Matt Holliday, LF4120000 .309
Lance Berkman, RF4010002 .290
Skip Schumaker, 2B4141000 .301
Gerald Laird, C4212003 .247
Daniel Descalso, 3B4000022 .257
Jaime Garcia, P1000000 .098
   a- Ryan Theriot, PH1000000 .272
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .143
    Arthur Rhodes, P0000000 .000
   b- Corey Patterson, PH1000000 .245
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
    Octavio Dotel, P0000000 .000
   c- Allen Craig, PH1011000 .321
Totals36411416  
a-grounded out for Garcia in the 5th
b-grounded out for Rhodes in the 7th
c-doubled for Dotel in the 9th
Batting
2B - Allen Craig (10, Guerrier)
HR - Gerald Laird (1, Kuroda)
RBI - Skip Schumaker (30), Gerald Laird 2 (11), Allen Craig (27)
2-OUT RBI - Allen Craig (11)
CS - Albert Pujols (1, 2nd base by Kuroda/Ellis)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Daniel Descalso (7, Misplayed grounder), Jon Jay (3, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jaime Garcia (L,10-7) 5977231 3.73
Kyle McClellan 1222011 4.04
Arthur Rhodes 1000020 5.06
Mitchell Boggs 1100010 3.59
Octavio Dotel 1100020 3.54
WP - Jaime Garcia (11)
Pitches-Strikes - Jaime Garcia 97-59, Kyle McClellan 25-15, Arthur Rhodes 13-9, Mitchell Boggs 13-8, Octavio Dotel 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaime Garcia 10-3, Kyle McClellan 1-1, Mitchell Boggs 1-1
Batters Faced - Jaime Garcia 27, Kyle McClellan 5, Arthur Rhodes 3, Mitchell Boggs 4, Octavio Dotel 4
Game Information
Attendance - 32959
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 97
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Jim Wolf