With talented rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound, the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be in good position to end another successful road trip on a positive note.
The left-hander tries for a fourth straight winning start when the Dodgers look to win their seventh consecutive road series Thursday night against the St. Louis Cardinals.
One night after Los Angeles' franchise-record 15-game road winning streak ended with a 5-1 loss at St. Louis (66-47), the Dodgers pounded out a season-high 18 hits in a 13-4 rout Wednesday.
A winner in 33 of 41 overall, Los Angeles (63-50) has won 21 of 24 away from Chavez Ravine and is 6-1 on an eight-game trip to open August."We don't even look into that stuff, man," said Dodgers veteran Jerry Hairston Jr., who had two RBIs on Wednesday. "I know it's big and we had a lot of things go our way and we know that's not going to be the norm."We're a confident group, we feel we can get the job done."
Though Ryu (10-3, 3.15 ERA) has a 5.24 ERA in his last four road starts, he's 3-0 thanks to an astonishing 11.69 run-support average during that stretch.
He yielded 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings but just two runs in Friday's 6-2 win over the Chicago Cubs to improve to 4-0 in his last seven starts overall. He has a 3.56 ERA during that span, but Los Angeles is 7-0 in those contests.
Ryu is the first Dodgers rookie to win 10 games since Kazuhisa Ishii in 2002.
"He dials it up when he needs to," catcher A.J. Ellis told the team's official website. "Sometimes the entire game. ... Other times, he saves it for certain situations. He's a big-game pitcher and he knows how to win."
This will be his first appearance versus St. Louis, which was originally scheduled to start Jake Westbrook before he was pressed into service Wednesday when Shelby Miller took a liner off the elbow on the second pitch of the game. Westbrook was tagged for nine runs and 13 hits in 4 2-3 innings."Three days' rest is sufficient for most people, you want to come in there and do what you can," he said. "The bottom line is I didn't do that."
The wild-card leading Cardinals recalled Carlos Martinez , who was set to start for Triple-A Memphis on Thursday, for the finale. One of the club's top prospects, the 21-year-old right-hander posted a 5.56 ERA without a decision in 10 relief appearances this season.
Martinez, who was 4-2 with a 1.76 ERA in 10 starts for the Redbirds, pitched a scoreless inning of relief against the Dodgers on May 25.
He'll face a tough task against a Los Angeles team that has outscored its opponents 92-51 while going 16-3 since the All-Star break. Andre Ethier and ex-Cardinal Skip Schumaker each had three hits with four RBIs Wednesday and Carl Crawford added four hits.
Crawford is 7 for 12 in the series and 12 for 26 in six career games at Busch Stadium.
With three hits Wednesday, St. Louis' Carlos Beltran is 13 for 27 in his last seven contests.
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|August 04, 2013||Hanley Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Jammed right shoulder|
|August 03, 2013||Yasiel Puig||Day-to-Day||Left hand contusion|
|July 30, 2013||Brian Wilson||15-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|July 23, 2013||Jose Dominguez||15-Day DL||Left quad strain|
|July 22, 2013||Matt Kemp||15-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|July 13, 2013||Yasiel Puig||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left hip|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|August 07, 2013||Shelby Miller||Day-to-Day||Right elbow contusion|
|July 31, 2013||Shane Robinson||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|July 31, 2013||Yadier Molina||15-Day DL||Sprained right knee|
|July 30, 2013||Yadier Molina||Day-to-Day||Strained right knee|
|July 12, 2013||Matt Holliday||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|July 12, 2013||Matt Holliday||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Hyun-Jin Ryu has been pitching more like a savvy veteran then a rookie this season.
Ryu pitched seven stellar innings and got help from a three-run homer by A.J. Ellis as the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 Thursday night.
The Dodgers have won 17 of their last 18 games on the road, with the only loss coming Tuesday to St. Louis in the second game of the four-game set. Los Angeles returns home for a six-game home stand against Tampa and the New York Mets .
Although he is in his first year with the Dodgers, Ryu pitched professionally in Korea for seven years before coming to Los Angeles, and it shows, according to Ellis.
"This guy knows how to pitch so well," Ellis said. "He pitches to the scoreboard as well as anyone I've caught. He knew he had a great lineup across the way that we had to face, and from the get-go, he was really locked in."
Ryu (11-3) allowed one unearned run on five hits while striking out seven and walking no one. He increased his winning percentage to .786, which is the highest winning percentage for a rookie in Dodgers' history.
He shut down the Cardinals without his best fastball.
"Most of my pitches were on point today," Ryu said through an interpreter. "The only concern I had was that my fastball, the velocity was not as high as I hoped it would be. Thanks to my other pitches, I was able to get out of the innings."
Fellow Los Angeles rookie Yasiel Puig had three hits to raise his batting average to .377. Adrian Gonzalez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Jerry Hairston had a pinch-hit RBI single.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was thrilled to take three of four from the Cardinals.
"This is a good club over there," Mattingly said. "Just like us, they feel like they got to win every day. We feel like we have to do the same. To get three out of four from them makes you feel good."
Los Angeles spoiled the first Major League start for St. Louis rookie Carlos Martinez (0-1), who was called up from Triple-A Memphis earlier in the day to make the start. Martinez lasted just 4 2-3 innings before leaving with cramps. He allowed all four runs on seven hits and three walks.
"I thought overall he did a pretty nice job," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny . "His stuff's electric; there's no question about that."
Matt Holliday had two hits and scored the Cardinals' only run. St. Louis fell four games back of Pittsburgh in the National League Central race.
With the Dodgers leading 1-0, Holliday singled with two outs to keep the fourth inning alive. David Freese followed with a single to center, and when Andre Ethier 's throw into the infield hit the second base bag and got away, Holliday came home to even the score.
Gonzalez walked with one out in the fifth and Puig followed with a single. Puig was erased by Ethier's fielder's choice, but Ellis then drove Martinez's pitch into the Dodgers' bullpen in left field to make it 4-1.
"It was just one of those things, where you're trying to put a nice swing on something and drive a run in," Ellis said. "In that situation, sometimes you're rewarded with a little more than you're looking for."
Notes: Cardinals rookie pitcher Shelby Miller , who left Wednesday night's game after two pitches when he was struck on the pitching elbow by a Carl Crawford line drive, said before the game he is ready to go. "I don't think I'm going to miss a beat," Miller said. "It's less sore than if I threw 100 pitches." ... The Dodgers won the season series between the teams by a 4-3 count and now lead the all-time series between the teams 1,012-1,009. ... Martinez is the fifth rookie to make a start for St. Louis this season.