The Dodgers prevailed over the Cardinals tonight, 7-2, after the 16-inning marathon of torture that was the last game. Kenta Maeda gave the team the quality start they needed, while the team rode big outbursts in the third and sixth innings to notch the victory. The Dodgers have been frustratingly inconsistent since the All-Star break, but have managed to get back to .500 since at 4-4.
The Dodgers were quiet for seven of the nine innings in today’s game, but thankfully the third and sixth innings did happen.
In the third, Andrew Toles reached on an infield single and Joc Pederson put runners on the corners by singling to right. Kenta Maeda then scored Toles on a safety squeeze that ended up as a single thanks to nobody covering first, and the Dodgers had a run.
After a sacrifice drag bunt by Chase Utley moved runners to second and third, Corey Seager singled deep in the hole to the shortstop, which drove in Joc and the Dodgers had two runs on the board. Immediately following that, Justin Turner drove a ball to right center for a double, scoring Maeda and Seager to double their run output to four.
Maeda, for the most part, was able to make that outburst hold up. After cruising through four innings, he ran into more trouble in the fifth and sixth, but still went 5.2 innings on 92 pitches. Maeda struck out just three but walked none and gave up two runs on five hits.
Luis Avilan was first out of the pen to bail Maeda out of trouble in the sixth when he put runners on first and third and two down. Avilan went on to get the seventh inning as well, finishing with 1.1 innings of perfect work, including two strikeouts.
Fortunately, the offense didn’t stop in the third inning, and they put another crooked number up in the sixth. Adrian Gonzalez started the scoring by drilling a homer to center for the fifth run for the Dodgers.
Yasmani Grandal and Toles then had back-to-back one out singles to put runners on the corners, and Toles advanced to second on a wild pitch. Joc then followed with a sharp single to center to score Grandal, but Toles was caught in a rundown. Fortunately Matt Adams had trouble making a 40-foot throw to the catcher and Toles managed to come home as well to make the run total seven for the good guys.
In total, the offense had just one walk, but got seven runs on 13 hits, including two doubles and homer. Toles had himself a day, going 3-for-4 with a double, and he should’ve got an assist on a throw if Seager had put down a better tag.
I think so based on reports on talent and his problems being anxiety rather than skill. Set expectations at 4th OF. https://t.co/wS6ykbf2UZ
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 24, 2016
Ross Stripling, who was recently recalled from the minors to serve as the long reliever, entered and got the eighth and ninth innings. Stripling only gave up one hit in his two scoreless frames, striking out two.
With the win, the Dodgers are now 55-44 overall and creep back towards .500 on the road at 25-26. The Giants beat the Yankees in extra innings today, which means their lead in the NL West will remain at four games. In the NL Wild Card race, the Dodgers are still up one game on the Marlins (won) for home-field advantage and are up two games on the Cardinals (lost) to make the game.
The Dodgers go for a series win tomorrow night against the Cardinals at 2:00 PM HST/5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST. The pitching matchup will be veteran Scott Kazmir (4.30 ERA/4.28 FIP/4.33 DRA) against Mike Mayers making his MLB debut.