Aug 8, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis (17) is congratulated by third baseman Juan Uribe (5) after hitting a three run home run off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers Slam Bird Cage Door Shut as They Finish Glorious Road Trip

Dodgers 5 10 1

Cardinals 1 7 1

WP- Ryu (11-3)

LP- Martinez (0-1)

HR- A.J. Ellis (6)

The Dodgers finish up this astonishing road trip by winning yet another series. The St. Louis Cardinals are a good team, but the Dodgers are just hotter right now.  Injuries to Yadier Molina and yesterday’s shocking injury to Shelby Miller really hurt the Cards in this series. The Dodgers showed no mercy on Wednesday evening when they walloped St. Louis with a season-high 18 hits. For game four, the Cardinals had to call up rookie pitcher and highly touted prospect Carlos Martinez to start since they were forced to use originally slated starter Jake Westbrook on Wednesday. Martinez throws fire, but the rookie tuckered out in the fifth inning and suffered a hand cramp and had to come out of the game.

 

Hyun-jin Ryu did not allow an earned run over 7 innings on his way to his 11th win of the year. Photo: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. Ellis took advantage of the tiring rookie pitcher, and he arched a three-run homerun in the fifth inning which broke a 1-1 tie. Hyun-jin Ryu continues to pitch consistently well, and the left-hander did not allow an earned run over 7 innings of work and lowered his ERA down to 2.99. The Cardinals scored a run in the fourth due to a strange throwing error by Andre Ethier. All the press has gone to Shelby Miller and Jose Fernandez, but Ryu is quietly making a solid case for Rookie of the Year consideration.

Carl Crawford collected another two hits tonight, and Yasiel Puig had three hits including a triple in the ninth inning which showcased his remarkable speed. A.J. Ellis was the offensive star tonight, and the catcher had two hits including his sixth homerun of the year good for 3 RBIs. The bullpen once again showed dominance, and Paco Rodriguez and Kenley Jansen each pitched a scoreless frame.

Carl Crawford continues his hot hitting as he pokes an opposite field single to lead-off the top of the first off of rookie pitcher Carlos Martinez. Mark Ellis breaks his bat on a grounder to third, but Crawford is able to advance to second. Adrian Gonzalez goes down swinging on a 99-mph fastball for out number two. Yasiel Puig runs out a groundball hit to third for an infield single. Crawford moves to third. Martinez is consistently hitting 99-mph, and he gets Andre Ethier to ground out to first. Allen Craig smothers the ball to make the out, and the Dodgers are unable to score.

Yasiel Puig runs down a well hit ball by Matt Carpenter in right field, and Mark Ellis snares a pop out by Carlos Beltran for the first two outs in the home half of the first. Hyun-jin Ryu strikes out Allen Craig looking, and the Korean southpaw sends the Cards down in order.

In the second, A.J. Ellis flies out and Juan Uribe strikes out swinging. Dee Gordon hits a little soft groundball in front of the mound, and Carlos Martinez throws wide while Gordon sprints down the line for an infield single. With Ryu at the plate, Gordon steals second easily. Ryu flies out, and that’s that.

The Red Birds hit back-to-back singles up the middle in the bottom of the second. Matt Holliday and David Freese are at first and second with Jon Jay up. Jay grounds a ball to third, and Uribe pauses for a moment thinking about a possible triple play. He has to take a few steps to touch the third base bag, and by the time he throws to first it’s too late to get the runner. Luckily Rob Johnson then proceeds to ground into an actual double play to end the inning and the threat.

Crawford once again leads off the inning with a base hit. He manages to run out another groundball for yet another infield

Carlos Martinez exits the game in the fifth inning with a hand cramp. Photo: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

single. That’s the third infield single for the Dodgers. Mark Ellis follows with a single to right field, and Crawford slides into third just ahead of the tag. Adrian Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly to left field allows Crawford to plate the first Dodger run. Puig grounds out to third, and Mellis advances to third on the play. Ethier draws a walk, and that prompts a coaching visit to the mound to talk to the young pitcher. A.J. Ellis also draws a walk, and the Dodgers have the bases loaded with two outs. Unfortunately Uribe grounds out to Carpenter who makes a nice play, and the Dodgers strand all three runners and squander away a perfect scoring opportunity.

Ryu is on point. He whiffs the side in the bottom of the third as Pete Kozma, Martinez, and Matt Carpenter all strike out swinging!

 

Martinez settles down in the top of the fourth, and he pitches a quick 1-2-3 inning.

Matt Holliday collects his second hit of the night, a two-out single, in the bottom of the fourth. David Freese singles up the middle, and then Ethier bobbles the ball then throws the ball back in and the ball hits the second base bag and gets away from the infielders allowing Holliday to score on a very strange error by Ethier. That’s Ethier’s second error of the year in center field. Jay grounds out, but the gift run ties the game up 1-1.

The Dodgers take advantage of a tiring Martinez in the top of the fifth. Gonzo draws a one-out walk, Puig singles, and Ethier grounds into a force play. A.J. Ellis then hits a beautiful rainbow curving homerun to left center field! The three-run shot gives the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. There’s an injury delay, and Carlos Martinez has to come out of the game with some sort of finger injury. Really tough breaks for the Cardinals during this series. Seth Maness will come in to relieve the injured Martinez. Maness retires Uribe to end the inning, but not before A.J. Ellis took matters into his own batting gloved hands.

Carlos Martinez pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits with 2 strikeouts and 3 walks on 98 pitches.

 

A.J. Ellis breaks the tie with a three-run homerun in the fifth inning. Photo: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Birds once again go down 1-2-3 versus Ryu in the bottom of the fifth.

Maness also pitches a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth.

In the home half of the sixth, Carpenter singles to short. Beltran grounds into a force play as Dee Gordon makes a nice acrobatic play to get Carpenter out at second. Craig strikes out, and Holliday flies out.

Sam Freeman, a lefty, comes in to pitch the seventh for St. Louis. Freeman sends the Dodgers down in order while striking out both Gonzo and Puig.

Freese strikes out (that’s Ryu’s seventh K) to begin the bottom of the seventh. Jay and Johnson both ground out, and Ryu has had a fabulous start. Hyun-jin Ryu pitched 7 innings while allowing 1 unearned run on 5 hits with 7 strikeouts and no walks on 110 pitches.

After Ethier flies out in the top of the eighth, Mike Matheny makes a double switch and brings in Michael Blazek to pitch and Tony Cruz to catch. A.J. Ellis singles. Uribe flies out. Dee Gordon draws a walk. Jerry Hairston Jr. comes up with a pinch-hit single, and the Dodgers plate their fifth run of the night!

Paco Rodriguez will pitch the bottom of the eighth for the Dodgers. Carpenter gets a two-out single. Beltran grounds out, and Paco pitches yet another shutout inning.

Kevin Siegrist is in for the top of the ninth. Yasiel Puig clobbers a ball over Holliday’s head, and Puig ends up with a two-out triple! Ethier strikes out, and we head to the bottom of the ninth.

Kenley Jansen will come in for the bottom of the ninth to shut the door on the bird cage… Allen Craig strikes out…Matt Holliday strikes out…but Freese singles to center which snaps Jansen’s streak of 27 consecutive batters retired. Jay grounds out to Jansen himself who tags him out, and the Dodgers win!

The Dodgers now improve to 64-50 on the season as they take 7 of 8 on this incredible road trip. Arizona was idle tonight, so

Kenley Jansen is kind of good. Photo: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

the Dodgers gain 1/2 game and the Dodgers now lead the division by 5 1/2 games.

Tomorrow the Dodgers return home to begin a six-game homestand with the Rays and Mets. Friday night’s game will feature Chris Capuano and David Price.

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Tags: A.J. Ellis Carlos Martinez Hyun-jin Ryu Los Angeles Dodgers St. Louis Cardinals