Even with Kenley Jansen returning, a six-game homestand began on a negative note for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they were unable to cool off the St. Louis Cardinals, falling 5-3. The Cardinals improved their MLB-best record during the month of August to 15-4.
Jose Martinez was responsible for the bulk of the Cardinals’ success against Alex Wood, clubbing a solo home run in the first inning and RBI single in the fifth. Wood followed that base hit by walking Paul DeJong, which marked the end of his night.
Wood failed to retire any of the three batters faced in the fifth inning, allowing three runs on seven hits while four strikeouts and issuing a pair of walks.
J.T. Chargois was first out of the bullpen for the Dodgers but his appearance last one batter — a Marcell Ozuna walk. Chargois was checked on by manager Dave Roberts and trainer Nate Lucero, which prompted his removal due to neck discomfort.
Pedro Baez inherited the bases-loaded jam and walked in a run, which was charged to Wood, before managing to work his way through the inning. That Baez allowed just the one run was key in keeping the Dodgers in the game.
They certainly had their share of opportunities early against Austin Gomber. Los Angeles stranded at least one baserunner through each of the first four innings.
Singles from Brian Dozier and Justin Turner and Manny Machado getting hit by a pitch loaded the bases with nobody out in the first. However, Gomber retired Cody Bellinger, then was aided by Kolten Wong making a diving catch that resulted in an inning-ending double play.
The Dodgers finally broke through in the fifth, sparked by Dozier’s leadoff walk and Turner’s base hit. Machado’s RBI single put them on the board, and Bellinger’s sacrifice fly cut the Cardinals’ lead to 3-2.
Then in the seventh, two-out walks by Bellinger and Matt Kemp set the table for pinch-hitter Max Muncy. Facing Jordan Hicks, who averages a 101 mph fastball, Muncy delivered by working the count full and flipping an RBI single into left field.
The excitement of seeing Jansen back on the mound was quickly tempered as he surrendered back-to-back home runs to Jedd Gyorko and Matt Carpenter to start the ninth inning, allowing the Cardinals to take a decided lead.
Kemp worked a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth but the Dodgers sending the tying run to the plate three times didn’t amount to anything as Bud Norris converted the save opportunity.
Aside from the loss, Turner extended his hitting streak to 14 games but Bellinger had his snapped at 12.