Preview: Dodgers at Cardinals
Clayton Kershaw looks to keep alive an outstanding personal run when he leads the Los Angeles Dodgers into the finale of a three-game series at St. Louis on Sunday night. Before throwing one perfect inning in the All-Star Game in Minneapolis, Kershaw posted his second complete game of the year with an 11-strikeout effort against San Diego on July 10. His scoreless streak was halted at 41 innings in the process but he still won his eighth straight start, all in dominant fashion.
Kershaw may not need it, but he would likely appreciate more run support than his teammates have provided of late. The Dodgers have scored 12 runs in a 3-4 stretch, including four in dropping the first two games of the series. Los Angeles was routed 9-0 in St. Louis to end last year's National League Championship Series and is 10-21 all-time in the regular season at the new Busch Stadium.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 1.78 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Carlos Martinez (2-4, 4.43)
Kershaw has 80 strikeouts in 61 innings while walking just six batters during his eight-game winning streak. He is 6-1 with a 1.91 ERA in seven road starts and has 16 scoreless frames over his last two outings away from home. The 26-year-old fanned 13 in seven scoreless frames versus St. Louis at home on June 29, improving to 5-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 13 career starts against the Cardinals.
Martinez limped into the break allowing four runs in four rocky innings at Milwaukee on July 13. It was the fifth time in his six starts this season in which he has failed to last beyond five innings. The Dominican, who has 29 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings as a starter, allowed a run and six hits in 4 1/3 innings at Los Angeles on June 27.
1. Cardinals LF Matt Holliday is day-to-day after being tagged on his head in Saturday's game.
2. Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig is also day-to-day after getting hit with a pitch in his left hand Saturday.
3. St. Louis 2B Kolten Wong is 11-for-30 with four home runs and three doubles during an eight-game hitting streak.
PREDICTION: Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2