Dodgers 2, Cardinals 1: May impresses, Martin walks it off for the sweep

The Dodgers’ offense couldn’t muster much against Jack Flaherty in a pitching duel that showcased two of the best young right-handers in the game. They had opportunities. Joc Pederson and Edwin Rios both narrowly missed hitting home runs, but it came down to the final strike in the bottom of the ninth. Russell Martin‘s two-RBI walk-off single clinched the series sweep and the Dodgers’ 10th walk-off win of the season.

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May and Flaherty, both looked sharp. They were putting on a show, exchanging five shutout innings with 16 strikeouts between the two.

The Dodgers’ only base hit through the first four frames was a long line drive double off the top of the center field wall by Pederson in the third. He barely missed hitting that one out, but the Dodgers couldn’t capitalize. The same scenario played out in the fifth, when Rios hit a one-out double that almost got out but Flaherty struck out Martin and May to end the frame.

The scoreless battle was finally broken up in the top of the sixth when Marcell Ozuna homered off May giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. That led to Dave Roberts going to the bullpen with two outs in the sixth. May came out of the game down by a run, but he impressed in his second major-league start. Big Red topped out at 97.5 MPH with his fastball and induced 12 swinging strikes.

May’s final line: 5.2 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 7 K, 1 BB, 83 pitches (61 strikes)

Adam Kolarek came in to face Matt Carpenter, but left-hander Carpenter went the opposite way for a single down the left-field line and off the ball girl. Kolten Wong followed with a walk. So much for the new LOOGY.

Next out of the Dodger bullpen was Yimi Garcia to face Matt Wieters with two on and two outs. The Dodgers contained the damage to one run, with Wieters flying out to Pederson in right field.

The Dodgers got to Flaherty the third time through the order, but they failed to cash in with RISP. Justin Turner singled with two outs in the home half of the sixth. Cody Bellinger collected his first base hit since his home run on Monday, with a ground ball single up the middle. Turner took third, but Flaherty induced a groundout from Corey Seager to keep the shutout intact.

Despite the offense being asleep at the wheel (four hits and 10 strikeouts vs. Flaherty), the bullpen did their job. Garcia pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, and Joe Kelly struck out the side in the eighth.

Casey Sadler got into some hot water in the top of the ninth, but Max Muncy flashed the leather at second base once again by turning a double play to end the threat and keep it a one-run affair.

The Dodgers got the winning run to second base with two outs in the ninth against the St. Louis bullpen. Andrew Miller hit Seager with a pitch in the back with one out in the ninth, and Will Smith worked a pinch-hit single off Carlos Martinez. Rios struck out on three pitches, and it was up to Martin with two outs. A wild pitch allowed the runners to move to second and third.

On a 2-2 count, the veteran Martin singled on a 98-mph Martinez four-seamer to cash in two runs for the walk-off victory.

It feels good to sweep the Red Birds after they swept the Dodgers in St. Louis earlier this year.

They say the most difficult three outs in baseball are the final three in the bottom of the ninth at Dodger Stadium.

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With their fifth straight win, the Dodgers improve to 77-40 on the year, 46-15 at home and 6-1 in August. They currently sit at 18.5 games up in the NL West.

After a day off and some ping pong on Thursday, the Dodgers resume their homestand when they host the Diamondbacks (57-57) for a three-game series starting Friday night. Robbie Ray (10-7, 4.03 ERA, 4.15 FIP) takes on Walker Buehler (10-2, 3.22 ERA, 2.99 FIP) with first pitch at 7:10 PM PST.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.