I joked in the game thread that, as Mike Mayers made his Major League debut, we should expect him to completely shut down the Dodgers. That is not exactly what happened.
Chase Utley and Corey Seager led off the game by greeting the rookie with singles. Mayers then issued a walk to Justin Turner, loading the bases for Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez proceeded to drive a Mayers slider over the center field fence, his second home run in as many games. Here’s video, courtesy of Kevin Full, featuring some legitimately heart-rending shots of Mayers’s family:
“You can actually pinpoint the second his heart rips in half.”
The Dodgers weren’t done just yet, either. Howie Kendrick doubled, and though Mayers retired the next two batters, he walked Joc Pederson and allowed a single to Scott Kazmir that brought in another pair of runs.
After Kazmir gave one back in the bottom of the first, the Dodgers picked up where they left off, knocking in three more runs (including a two-run dinger by Kendrick) and knocking Mayers out of the game after just an inning and a third pitched. That would be it for the Dodgers, as the Cardinals bullpen managed to keep them off the board for the rest of the game, despite allowing 11 baserunners.
Kazmir gave up a two-run home run to Tommy Pham in the bottom of the second, but held the Cardinals scoreless afterwards. He left the game after five innings, having allowed three runs on six hits while striking out three.
Pedro Baez pitched a clean sixth inning, but there was some drama in the bottom of the seventh. Adam Liberatore got lucky when ball four to Pham was called strike three, then got unlucky when Kolten Wong reached on an infield single. After walking the bases loaded, Liberatore was removed for Joe Blanton, who gave up the sac fly that brought an end to Liberatore’s 28-game, 20-inning scoreless streak. Stephen Piscotty doubled in two more runs, bringing the Cardinals to within three.
Blanton remained in the game to pitch a scoreless eighth inning, though he got some help from Joc Pederson (video again courtesy of Kevin Full):
Kenley Jansen came on for the bottom of the ninth, this time successfully recording the save, and securing the series victory for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers lost two of three games to an awful Arizona team, then took two of three games from very good Washington and St. Louis teams — because baseball is weird like that — good for a 5-4 road trip. With an off day tomorrow, they’ll play the first of a two-game series with the Rays at home on Tuesday, a 7:10 PM Pacific start time. Bud Norris will take the mound against (future Dodger?) Chris Archer.