Luis Cruz celebrates after hitting a three-run homerun. Photo: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

Dodgers in Cruz Control as They Win Their Fifth in a Row

Dodgers 5 7 0

Cardinals 3 9 1

WP- Billingsley (5-9)

LP- Kelly (1-3)

S- Jansen (19)

HR- Cruz (2), Beltran (22)

 

Luis Cruz hits his second career homerun in the second inning at Busch Stadium. Photo: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

We were all holding our collective breath as Chad Billingsley made his first start after being reactivated from the disabled list. It was over 100° in St. Louis, and Billingsley would need to change his sweaty jersey twice before exiting after 6 solid innings of sweltering work. He only allowed one run which was in the first inning, and other than the Belisario hanging sinker which Beltran blasted into the stands in the eighth, the Dodgers outdueled the reigning World Champs for the fourth time this season in as many games. Billingsley won his first game since June 10th on the heels of a three-run shot by Luis Cruz and a clutch two-run double by Mark Ellis in the seventh.

In the first, Bobby Abreu draws a lead-off walk from Joe Kelly to start the game. Mark Ellis grounds into a double play. Kemp grounds out to short to end the inning.

Jon Jay pulls a double down the right field line with one out in the bottom of the first. Then Chad Billingsley walks Matt Holliday on four pitches. Somehow Bills strikes out Carlos Beltran. Lance Berkman singles, and the Cards take a quick 1-0 lead. Yadier Molina grounds out, and Bills contains the damage to one run.

Andre Ethier reaches safely  on a fielding error by Lance Berkman. Rivera softly lines out. Dre moves over to second on a wild pitch by Joe Kelly with Adam Kennedy at the plate. Kennedy gets a lucky pop-up single to shallow center field as the ball bounces out of Rafael Furcal‘s glove. Luis Cruz then hits a three-run homerun over Holliday and the left field wall. After Holliday crashes into the wall, the ball bounces back over the wall and hits Matt in the head for prosperity. Very enjoyable! The Dodgers take a 3-1 lead. A.J. Ellis strikes out, and Bills grounds out.

Matt Carpenter singles and steals second with one out in the second inning for St. Louis. Old friend Furcal strikes out to end the inning.

The Dodgers go down in order in the third.

In the home half of the third, Matt Holliday gets a little bit of revenge by hitting a double off the end of his bat with one out. Berkman pops out, and the Cardinals fail to score.

Rivera draws a walk in the top of the fourth, but he’s out on a fielder’s choice by Kennedy. Cruz grounds out to end the frame.

The Cardinals have their lead-off man on again in the bottom of the fourth with a Molina single. Carpenter grounds into an inning-ending double play.

In the fifth, Abreu gets mowed down at second by Molina after walking with two outs.

Joe Kelly singles on a high choppy comebacker that he beats out as he trips on the throw by Billingsley and rolls down the line. Furcal lines out sharply to third, and Jay whiffs for the second out. Holliday flies out to Kemp, and the Cards strand their runner.

Matt Kemp gets his first hit of the game in the sixth with a one out single. Ethier doubles to the gap, and the Dodgers are threatening with runners at second and third. Rivera hits a groundball to third, and Kemp is caught in a rundown between third and home. Rivera ends up at second and Dre at third on the play, but Kennedy’s lazy fly ball ends the inning.

Bills strikes out Beltran to begin the bottom of the sixth. Molina manages a two-out single, but Skip Schumaker grounds out to first to end the inning.

 

The rookie Joe Kelly gets the loss after allowing the three-run shot to Cruz. Photo: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

Fernando Salas comes in to relieve Joe Kelly who pitched 6 innings, allowing 4 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, and 1 strikeout on 96 pitches. A.J. Ellis singles with one out, and the Cards will go to the pen again for a lefty-Barret Browning. Tony Gwynn Jr. gets a pinch-hit single. Bobby Abreu strikes out looking for the second out. The Cards go to the bullpen yet again. Victor Marte comes into pitch to Mark Ellis. Ellis proceeds to smack a two-run double to left field, and the Dodgers take a 5-1 lead! Kemp strikes out to end the inning,

Chad Billingsley pitched 6 innings, allowing 7 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts on 100 pitches.

Chad Billingsley sweats through three jerseys, but he only allows one run in six innings of work. Photo: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

 

Jamey Wright comes in to pitch the seventh for the Dodgers, and he pitches a very nice 1-2-3 inning.

Trevor Rosanthal comes in to pitch the eighth for St. Louis. He sends the Dodgers down in order.

Wright is in for the bottom of the eighth for his second inning of work. The bullpen has been taxed this road trip, so it will be great if they can rest some of the guys tonight. Jay leads off with a single, and Donnie gets the hook and brings in Ronald Belisario. Belisario lets a sinker hang to Carlos Beltran who wallops it out for a two-run homerun. The Dodger lead is cut to 5-3.

Rosenthal is still in for the top of the ninth. The Dodgers go down 1-2-3.

Kenley Jansen comes in looking for his third save of this road trip. Jansen blows away pinch-hitter Allen Craig for the first out. Matt Carpenter grounds out to Loney who’s now at first for the second out. Jansen whiffs Daniel Descalso, and the Dodgers win their fifth in a row! That’s Jansen’s 19th save on the season.

The Boys in Blue improve to 53-44, and they sit one game back of the Giants while we wait for their game against San Diego to play out. Tomorrow the Dodgers will give the ball to Clayton Kershaw as he goes up against Adam Wainwright tomorrow evening in game two of the four-game series at Busch Stadium. If the Dodgers win tomorrow, they will guarantee themselves at least a .500 road trip.

Tags: Chad Billingsley Joe Kelly Los Angeles Dodgers Luis Cruz St. Louis Cardinals