For the second consecutive night, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, shutting them out, 3-0, to draw even for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.
Perhaps the best two rookie starters in baseball, Walker Buehler and Jack Flaherty, squared off for the second time in the past month, and this time Buehler stole the show.
He went eight innings for the first time in his professional career, allowing just two hits and no runs while walking two and tying a career high with nine strikeouts.
Buehler was still throwing 99 mph after reaching the 100-pitch threshold in the eighth inning but worked himself into some trouble by walking two hitters with two outs.
With a left-handed bat and one of the NL’s leading MVP candidates in Matt Carpenter due up, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided to stick with his starter. Buehler rewarded him by striking Carpenter out to end the inning and preserve the shutout.
A majority of the Dodgers offense was provided by Yasiel Puig. First, he took Flaherty deep in the top of the second inning to give Los Angeles an early 1-0 lead. Then with the Dodgers leading 2-0 in the ninth inning, Puig gave closer Kenley Jansen added insurance with his second solo home run of the night.
Puig’s home runs also extended a Los Angeles franchise record as the club has gone deep in 22 consecutive games. They are now just two games away from tying the overall franchise record.