Thursday’s series finale at Busch Stadium had the makings of a pitchers’ duel but it was nothing of the sort as the Los Angeles Dodgers fell to the St. Louis Cardinals, 11-7. In being swept, the Dodgers went a disappointing 3-4 on their road trip.
After being held to a combined five runs through the first three games of the series, the Dodgers showed early signs of life against Michael Wacha. Joc Pederson opened the game with a triple and promptly scored on Justin Turner’s drive to deep center field that amounted to a sacrifice fly.
It was the type of productive out that largely evaded the Dodgers since their arrival in St. Louis. They also saw the return of their power, with David Freese leading off the second inning with a home run and Walker Buehler hitting the first homer of his career.
Just as quickly as Buehler helped his cause, he allowed the Cardinals to erase their 3-0 deficit. Singles by Jose Martinez and Tyler O’Neill and Jedd Gyorko’s walk loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the second.
Buehler then hit Harrison Bader with a pitch, the first of two instances on the day that happened for the Cardinals’ center fielder. Matt Wieters’ sacrifice fly brought in another run, and Buehler’s wild pitch plated two more to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead.
The back-and-forth affair continued in the third inning, which opened with a single from Turner and Corey Seager’s double. Seager reached in all three plate appearances but was removed in the fourth inning due to a left hamstring contusion that was a result of being hit by a pitch.
A.J. Pollock’s sacrifice fly tied the game, Freese’s RBI single put the Dodgers ahead, and Kiké Hernandez’s two-run homer extended their lead to 7-4.
But it was all Cardinals from that point. They pushed a run across in the bottom of the third and rallied against Pedro Baez to score four runs in the fifth inning. Baez failed to retire five of the first six batters faced and was later let down when Max Muncy booted a routine groundball with two outs, allowing a run to score.
Sloppy defense cost the Dodgers again in the sixth inning, when Rocky Gale recovered a wild pitch only to throw the ball into left field on his attempt to cut down Martinez at third base.
Of the 11 runs the Dodgers allowed, two scored on separate errors, two on a hit batsman with the bases loaded and three on two wild pitches.