May 20, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke (33) runs the bases after hitting a three run home run in the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Dodgers Complete a Total Eclipse of the St. Louis Cardinals

Dodgers- 6 14 2

Cardinals- 5 8 0

WP- Guerra (2-3)

LP- Rzepczynski (0-2)

S- Jansen (5)

HR- Scott Van Slyke (1)

First off, I’d like to wish Mark Ellis a speedy recovery. Ellis sustained injury to his left leg after colliding with St. Louis second baseman Tyler Greene on a slide intended to break up a double play. On Saturday, Ellis underwent a fasciotomy which is a surgical procedure where a large incision was made on his lower left leg and blood and fluid was drained to relieve pressure. He remains hospitalized until Tuesday, and he will not be able to return from the disabled list for at least six weeks. There was even a change Mark could have lost his leg if the procedure hasn’t been made in time. Very scary. Get well soon, Mark!

The hobbled yet surprisingly hot playing Dodgers will go for a three-game sweep of the first place St. Louis Cardinals. The starting pitching has been phenomenal, but Chad Billingsley has been disappointingly inconsistent. The Dodgers will look to him to pitch a quality start this afternoon.

Rafael Furcal quickly leads off the first inning with a single up the middle then steals second with Skip Schumaker at bat. Billingsley walks Schumaker, and the Cards have two runners on with no one out. While Holliday is busy whiffing, A.J. Ellis shoots over to third to get Furcal trying to steal! Billingsley, who’s looking like his typical Jekyll and Hyde self this inning, proceeds to walk Carlos Beltran. Bills comes back to strike out David Freese on three pitches, and after 22 pitches in the inning he escapes unscathed.

Kyle Lohse goes to work in the bottom of the first for St. Louis. Tony Gwynn Jr.’s slow roller to short is out number one. Elian Herrera, who is batting second in Mark Ellis’s absence, singles. Bobby Abreu follows up with a single to left. Andre Ethier, who leads the league in RBI, knocks another one in with a single to center field. That’s number 37. Dodgers take a 1-0 lead. Adam Kennedy ends the inning by hitting into a double play.

Yadier Molina opens up the second inning with a single. Matt Adams, a rookie who was just called up to replace the injured Lance Berkman, gets a single in his first big league at bat. Daniel Descalso walks to load the bases up for the Cards with nobody out. Billingsley finally gets an out by striking out Lohse. Miraculously Furcal hits right back to Bills who throws him out at first, and then Loney throws to double up Molina at home. Phew!

In the bottom half the second, James Loney leads off with a single, but he is erased as he is caught stealing second by Molina. A.J. Ellis grounds out, and Justin Sellers strikes out.

Chad Billingsley finally has an easy inning in the third, and the Cards go down in order. Holliday and Beltran both strike out swinging.

The Dodgers return the favor by going down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the third, and Lohse strikes out two as well getting Billingsley and Gwynn to both whiff.

Billingsley seems like he is mad at himself, and he strikes out David Freese to begin the fourth. Molina pops up, and Adams grounds out. All of a sudden it seems as if Bills has settled down nicely.

Bobby Abreu’s line drive single starts off the Dodgers’ fourth. Andre Ethier comes up with his second hit of the evening, and the Dodgers are in business with nobody out. Adam Kennedy walks, but Loney grounds into a double play with the bases loaded. Abreu scores on the play, and the Dodgers now lead 2-0. A.J. Ellis strikes out swinging to end the inning.

The fifth inning commences with a Descalso single, and Lohse sacrifices him over to second. Furcal beats Billingsley to first who actually misses the bag, and Rafael is safe on the error by Bills. Descalso advances to third on the play. Skip Schumaker than smokes a triple into the right field corner, and two runs scored to tie the game up. Bills continues to struggle, and he walks Holliday spurring a Rick Honeycutt visit to the mound. There’s still only one out with runners at the corners. Carlos Beltran grounds into a force out, and Schumaker scores on the play giving the Cards a 3-2 lead. David Freese strikes out, but the damage is done.

Tony Gwynn Jr. singles off the glove of Furcal with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Herrera follows with a base hit. Bobby Abreu grounds out to strand the two runners.

Molina reaches safely on a throwing error by Justin Sellers after hitting deep into the hole at short. Matt Adams loops a single into center, and Tony Gwynn throws a bullet to Kennedy at third who tags out Molina on a close play. Descalso singles with one out, and Lohse sacrifices the runners to second and third. Another run scores on yet another blooping single by Furcal. 5-2 Cards. Schumaker flies out to end the inning, but not before Billingsley was blooped and singled to death.

Adam Kennedy triples with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Carlos Beltran, who can’t run full speed right now, can’t get to the ball as it gets past him. Loney comes up with a RBI single, and the Cards now lead 5-3. A.J. Ellis hits a line drive to Holliday for the second out. Justin Sellers singles, and the Dodgers have runners at first and second with two outs. The Cardinals decide to go to the pen.

Kyle Lohse pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing 11 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts on 96 pitches.

Ivan DeJesus will pinch hit for Chad Billingsley. Victor Marte is now in for the Cards. On the first pitch, DeJesus lines out to Matt Holliday to end the rally and any additional scorin’.

Chad Billingsley pitched 6 innings, allowing 8 hits, 5 runs (3 earned), 4 walks, 7 strikeouts on 95 pitches.  

Chad Billingsley has his third disappointing start in a row Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

 

Javy Guerra comes out of the bullpen to pitch the seventh for the Dodgers. He pitches a very nice 1-2-3 inning can caps it off with a whiff to Freese.

 

Scott Van Slyke smashes his first career homerun-a three-run pinch hit shot Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Elian Herrera singles into left field. He has a nice game going 3 for 4. Marc Rzepczynski comes in from the St. Louis bullpen to face Abreu. Bobby also goes 3 for 4, and he comes up with a single against Rzepczynski. Andre Ethier strikes out swinging. Scott Van Slyke comes up, and I jokingly say that right now would be the perfect moment for his first career homerun….well…he does it! A pinch hit three-run homerun for Van Slyke! Dodgers take over the lead 6-5! Loney strikes out, but I’m still in the Van Slyke celebratory moment to even hardly notice.

Josh Lindblom is asked to pitch the eighth inning for the Dodgers, and he pitches a very nice inning. St. Louis is retired in order.

Dee Gordon walks in the bottom of the eighth, but they are unable to do much else against pitcher Mitchell Boggs.

In the top of the ninth, Kenley Jansen begins by whiffing Matt Carpenter. Furcal pops out to A.J. Ellis in foul territory. Schumaker hits a groundball to Kenley who makes the out at first, and he gets his fifth save of the season. The Dodgers sweep the three-game series versus the Cardinals!

Scott Van Slyke is the hero on the night. With his three-run pinch hit homer, he immediately erases our angry thought toward Billingsley’s lacking performance. The Dodgers improve to 28-13, and they pick up games on Colorado and San Francisco who both lost today in Interleague Play.

The Dodgers now leave to go on a brief three-game road trip over to Arizona to play the D-Backs. Although we have been cursed with a plethora of injuries, somehow someway our Boys in Blue are pulling together and making it happen. Have a wonderful Sunday evening, Dodger fans.

Tags: Chad Billingsley Los Angeles Dodgers Mark Ellis Scott Van Slyke St. Louis Cardinals

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