Following a trio of exciting games in which the Dodgers attempted significant comebacks (twice successfully), they decided to take a lead for once and hold it for a 4-0 win in the rubber match against the Cardinals.
Dakota Hudson hasn’t had a great year, but he stifled the Dodgers early, not allowing a runner past second through three frames. The 4th saw a scoring chance, however, as Freddie Freeman was up and doubled off the wall in center for his second hit of the day to stay absolutely scorching hot. Following that, Will Smith was hit and then Justin Turner drove in Freeman with a single for an actual, real lead.
After a quiet 5th, the Dodgers came back in the 6th. They didn’t look like much was going on as after a Trea Turner infield single they actually got Freddie out for once, but Will then followed with a quick-strike double to left-center to score Trea easily and make it 2-0.
Still, Hudson was having a nice start all things considered, pitching into the 7th and getting the first two batters. But his night was ruined when he grazed Cody Bellinger with a breaking ball in the dirt and then gave up Gavin Lux‘s fourth homer of the year to right that doubled the lead at 4-0.
While the Dodgers threatened later in the 7th and also in the 8th, they didn’t manage to add anything to their lead.
On the other side, the Cards were kept down by Tyler Anderson, who continues to make his struggles after the no-hit attempt look like a meaningless blip.
He gave up a double in the 1st but never felt under real threat early on. The 4th was different as it started with a walk and a single against the heart of the order. However, he rebounded by inducing a fly out and then rolling a double play to escape. Anderson didn’t face a runner past first the rest of the way, though part of that was thanks to this play from Mookie Betts.
Anderson just keeps rolling along: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 88 Pitches.
With the lead up to four, the Dodgers went to the pen with Yency Almonte, who gave up a single and a walked a batter but managed a scoreless 7th. Evan Phillips continued his borderline All-Star worthy year, getting a perfect 8th that included a strikeout.
The 9th belonged to Craig Kimbrel, who closed the game out but gave up a fly-ball double and took 26 pitches to get the job done.
Freeman is 14 of his last 17 with four doubles, two homers, two walks, and a hit by pitch. It warrants Hanser Alberto‘s bewilderment.
58-30 on the year, a 107-win pace, and all of a sudden they have a 9.5-game lead over the Padres in the NL West.
The Dodgers will now basically go home to complete the road trip and the first half of the season, playing a mini-series against the Angels starting at 3:38 PM HT/6:38 PM PT/9:38 PM ET. Clayton Kershaw will start and face Patrick Sandoval.