LOS ANGELES • An inning after stopping the Cardinals inches short of home plate and the first run of the game, the Dodgers finally found a way to get a runner there against Adam Wainwright.
All it took was one.
Pinch-hitter Justin Turner flipped an RBI single against the Cardinals ace in the bottom of the eighth inning to score Juan Uribe and deliver a 1-0 victory Thursday night at Dodger Stadium. Wainwright had taken a no-hitter through five innings and had not allowed a runner to reach third base safely all night until Uribe got there with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. In the seventh, Matt Kemp had thrown out Allen Craig at home in a contentious play that had the Cardinals believing catcher Drew Butera blocked Craig’s access to the plate.
“A great throw at a key moment,” Butera said.
Butera had a role in each of the plays that stayed against the Cardinals after officials looked at the reviews. Replay confirmed the out call at the plate on Craig, just as another review kept a call against the Cardinals in the ninth inning. Pinch-runner Peter Bourjos had swiped second base clean to put the tying run at second, but he came off the bag as shortstop Miguel Rojas kept his glove on Bourjos’ thigh. A quick review confirmed Bourjos was out and the Cardinals’ rally fizzled.
Wainwright (10-4) threw his 19th career complete game, his third of less than nine innings. The last time he lost a complete game was August 2007 — against the Dodgers. LA bearded reliever Brian Wilson (1-2), whose bobblehead night it was at Dodger Stadium, got the win for his scoreless eighth inning in the Cardinals’ first visit to Chavez Ravine since last October’s National League championship series .
An ongoing frustration for Cardinals manager Mike Matheny this season has been how few times he’s had to challenge calls made on the field and the far fewer times a call has been overturned by replay in the Cardinals favor. Matheny entered the game with the lowest rate of successful challenges in the majors, and then confronted a situation in the top of the seventh where he couldn’t challenge, only request that the umpires consider a review.
A run depended on it.
Allen Craig, who has shifted down in the order as Jhonny Peralta ascended to cleanup, drove a double to right field. Yasiel Puig slammed into the padded wall in an attempt to catch the ball that caromed away from him and allowed Craig to reach second with a two-out double. Center fielder Jon Jay followed with a single to left field that Matt Kemp fielded off a hop and in stride. Kemp, a former Gold Glove winner in center who has been shifted to the corner this season, threw an arrow to home plate that arrived just as Craig did.
Butera had his feet in fair territory before the ball arrived, though whether he gave Craig a clear lane to home plate was debatable from the Cardinals’ perspective. The ball had arrived at the same time as Craig allowing Butera, by rule, to shift over and block the plate.
He went for the tag.
Butera’s glove scraped Craig’s rib cage as the Cardinals’ outfielder reached out for the plate. The tag was there in time. Craig popped up to argue with home plate umpire Vic Carapazza. Matheny squeezed between his player and the umpire to make the same argument — that Butera had not given Craig the required space to reach home plate without a collision. Matheny has been one of the vocal proponents for the rule, experimental rule 7.13, that limits the possibilities of collision at home. It was his advocacy during last year’s winter meetings that sped the rule into the game within six months.
Matheny could not issue a manager’s challenge for the call at the plate, but convinced the umpires to consider the replay themselves with a crew-chief review based on Rule 7.13.
It took 1 minute, 18 seconds for the umpires to receive word from the replay headquarters in New York that upheld the call on the field. Butera was fine. Craig was out.
The game remained a scoreless tie.
In his first start back from a hiatus to address tendinitis in his right elbow, Wainwright struck out seven and allowed one run through eight innings to win his 10th game. Another five days removed from the break, Wainwright was even better. The Cardinals’ ace misfired only to the first batter he faced — Dee Gordon drew a leadoff walk in the first inning — but then retired the next 15 batters he faced. Wainwright did not allow a hit until the sixth inning when No. 8 hitter Rojas skipped a groundball single to left field. Wainwright had four strikeouts at that point, including a called strike three with a cutter against Puig to open the fourth.
The Dodgers would get their first two hits against Wainwright in that sixth inning and that again brought Puig to the plate. A flashpoint of the Cardinals’ and Dodgers’ NLCS last October for his exuberant play and home run-ready celebration of a line drive that didn’t leave the ballpark, Puig had the Dodgers’ first at-bat with a runner in scoring position.
He hit a routine grounder to third for an inning-ending double play.
The Cardinals had similar innings percolate and then settle against Dodgers starter Josh Beckett. The first of three pitchers who have thrown a no-hitter this season that the Cardinals will face in five games, Beckett allowed four hits total and no runs through his seven innings of work. The Dodger righty carried a 1.58 ERA through his previous six starts. He had allowed only two hits before the Craig controversy in the seventh inning. In the fourth inning, he invited the Cardinals to bruise his scoreless innings with walks to Matt Adams and Yadier Molina.
Beckett struck out Craig to end the inning.
It wasn’t until Craig was at second in the seventh inning that the Cardinals had another runner in scoring position.
Waino loses no-hit bid in the sixth
A groundball found a hole and filled one on the scoreboard.
Shortstop Miguel Rojas opened the bottom of the sixth inning for the Dodgers with a single to left field that cracked the mid-game no-hit bid that Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright had going. Wainwright had thrown only 60 pitches to get through five innings and allow LA nothing but a leadoff walk way back in the first inning.
Wainwright had retired 15 consecutive batters before Rojas' single.
The game remains tied, 0-0, as Wainwright works around the leadoff single here in the bottom of the sixth.
Wainwright throwing a gem, has blanked Dodgers through five
Allow me to catch you up on what has happened thus far tonight at Dodger Stadium.
There has been nothing so far.
And that means everything.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright has retired 15 consecutive Dodgers after allowing a leadoff walk in the first inning. Not a single Dodger has reached base Dee Gordon drew four balls from Wainwright as the first batter of the game, and Gordon didn't budged past first once Wainwright started working the strike zone.
The righty has struck out four batters. He got Yasiel Puig on a called third-strike cutter to open the fourth inning, and he just struck out Juan Uribe for the second out of the fifth inning. Matt Carpenter had a diving corral of a grounder in the fourth inning to rob Matt Kemp of potential extra bases with a quick throw to first base. That Dodgers remain without a hit.
Not that the Cardinals are doing much more.
The score is tied, 0-0, as the game heads into the sixth inning.
The got a leadoff single from Carpenter to start the game, and a double play promptly squelched that rally. In the second inning, Jhonny Peralta, the Cardinals current cleanup hitter, flipped a single to center field. He reached second on a grounder, but didn't get much further as Jon Jay lined out to left field. A couple walks in the fourth inning tested Dodgers starter Josh Beckett but he struck out Allen Craig to end the inning.
The Cardinals are hitless in two at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The Dodgers are still looking for their first.
Their first anything but baserunner.
Gonzales a go for Tuesday, Miller hoping for Sunday
Shelby Miller, two days removed from back spasms that pushed him out of a start in the third inning, hoped to come to Dodger Stadium this afternoon and throw a bullpen session as if prepping for his next start, Sunday vs. Dodgers.
He did not get to do that, but that doesn't leave him off schedule to still start as planned.
The Cardinals did not want him to throw a full bullpen, he said, and instead had him throw on flat ground to test his arm and how his back was feeling. Miller said the soreness has inched into his lower back. That's not unusual. The righty said he has had a "weak lower back" before, and his stretching and between-start has worked to address soreness there before.
During his start Tuesday in Denver, Miller had stiffness and a stinging sensation that originated from the middle of his back.
That discomfort has subsided he said.
Miller added that he wants to try to throw off the mound at least once or twice before going straight to his start Sunday. He is not sure what the schedule is.
"He's grounded to the trainer's room," manager Mike Matheny said.
The Cardinals announced two prongs of their coming schedule for the rotation today. Matheny confirmed that Lance Lynn would start Saturday as normal. Miller's start on Sunday is still to be determined, though they intend to handle the bullpen and approach Sunday as if he's starting. Rookie lefty Marco Gonzales will also remain in the rotation for a start Tuesday against the Giants.
Matheny said that he was "impressed" by the youngster in his debut Wednesday at Coors Field.
He's eager to see what Gonzales does without the peripheral concerns he had with his debut coming in his hometown and at an unforgiving ballpark.
Matheny continues to stack the Matts
With two wins in Colorado and an offense that scored in five different innings for the victory Wednesday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny continues to ride the organization he has at the top of the lineup -- offering it both a new look and that OBP-based direction.
He's stacking Matts. The Cardinals have stacked wins.
The thought of batting Matt Holliday second -- moving him up from his traditional No. 3 spot in the order -- had been something Matheny had considered for weeks, at least as far back as the interleague series in Toronto. He suggested at that time that on-base percentage had to be something he considered as Holliday's contribution, especially as the lineup overall had difficult slugging. Matheny said it would be something he tried -- but wasn't ready to at that point.
With the offensive bounce that comes from playing at Coors Field, the Cardinals have had success. Holliday and Matt Carpenter both had successful series against the Rockies, and Carpenter scored three runs and drove in three others without getting a hit until the third and final day in Denver. Holliday has always enjoyed hitting at Coors Field and that continued as he generated several rallies.
Matt Adams made them matter with a couple homers in the series.
The new-look lineup with get a sterner test in the coming days as the Cardinals face the Dodgers and their stacked rotation for four days. Three of the Cardinals next five games are against pitchers who have thrown no-hitters so far this season.
Tonight it's Josh Beckett.
Here's the lineup that he'll face:
1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
2. Matt Holliday, LF
3. Matt Adams, 1B
4. Jhonny Peralta, SS
5. Yadier Molina, C
6. Allen Craig, RF
7. Jon Jay, CF
8. Mark Ellis, 2B
9. Adam Wainwright, P
Check back throughout the evening here for some late-night live blogging from Dodger Stadium. This blog will bring you news (Shelby Miller throwing? Marco Gonzales starting again?) and notes and whatnot from Chavez Ravine as the Cardinals return to LA for the first time since ousting the Dodgers from the NLCS.