Clayton Kershaw labored through a second consecutive short start and the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff collectively was unable to solve Óscar Mercado in a 10-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Kershaw enjoyed a strong first inning but matters went downhill from there. He threw 33 pitches in the second inning and allowed the Cardinals to take a 3-0 lead in the process.
Nolan Arenado’s leadoff double set the table for Tommy Edman’s RBI extra-base hit to put St. Louis ahead. Kershaw nearly managed to keep it to just run one, but a two-out walk kept the inning alive and Mercado took advantage by plating two runs on a double.
Kershaw ran into more trouble in the fourth inning, beginning with a two-out walk. After a single put runners at the corners, Merchado’s RBI base hit extended the Cardinals’ lead to 4-1.
Kershaw remained in the game but walked Lars Nootbaar to load the bases and it marked the end of his afternoon at 95 pitches. Shelby Miller retired Paul Goldscmidt to close the book on Kershaw at four runs on five hits, to go along with three walks and six strikeouts over 3.2 innings.
It marked the fifth time in the past seven games a Dodgers starting pitcher did not reach the fifth inning. Moreover, Kershaw has now made back-to-back starts of four innings or fewer for the first time since 2009.
Mercado capped off a three-run fifth inning by driving in two more on another two-out hit. He finished 3-for-4 with a game-high five RBI from the last spot in the Cardinals’ lineup. Paul DeJong then broke the game open with a three-run homer off Wander Suero in the seventh inning.
The Dodgers had an outside chance at climbing back into the game when they loaded the bases in the eighth inning. All that came of it was two runs on a sacrifice fly from both J.D. Martinez and James Outman.
Dodgers road trip update & outlook
The Dodgers leave Busch Stadium on a two-game losing streak as they head into a matchup with the National League-leading Atlanta Braves. L.A. suffered their first back-to-back losses since April 26 and 27, which also represented the Dodgers’ last series loss prior to this weekend.
The Dodgers went into the series 22-3 when scoring at least five runs this season. They reached that threshold in all four games against the Cardinals but went 1-3.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!