The Dodgers had their share of runs and opportunities on Thursday, but the Cardinals just had more.
The Dodgers had one inning that they strung together several hits, but the Cardinals had two such innings, prevailing 7-4 on Thursday to capture the four-game series. The third straight loss for the Dodgers put them three games back in the National League West, matching their low point of the season.
The Cardinals opened the fourth inning with four consecutive hits off Chris Capuano for two runs, but they were unable to score anymore as Andre Ethier threw home to nail Matt Carpenter, who tried to score on a sacrifice fly.
The Dodgers responded with four straight hits for two runs of their own in the fifth inning. Matt Treanor's infield single gave the Dodgers a fifth straight hit though second baseman Daniel Descalso made a great diving stop and had Luis Cruz caught in between second and third base. But as the rundown shifted to third and home, David Freese threw wildly, allowing Juan Rivera to score and give the Dodgers the lead.
Capuano widened the Dodgers' lead to 4-2 with a soft liner to left center field that scored Cruz, but Capuano didn't realize the ball was caught. After remaining at first base thinking he had singled, he finally realized he was out and ran back to the dugout with a sheepish grin on his face. As he was getting simultaneously congratulated and razzed in the dugout, the KCAL microphones picked up one Dodger joking to Capuano, "You still stink."
Unfortunately that jibe rang true for Capuano on the mound in the fifth inning. After Rafael Furcal popped out to open the frame, the next seven Cardinals reached base. Capuano was only around for the first five of those batters, as his day was done with four more runs charged against him. Javy Guerra came on in relief, and after allowing an RBI single and an intentional walk he got out of the inning, including getting Furcal to ground out for his second out of the inning.
Matt Holliday added an insurance run in the sixth inning, a solo shot onto the grass in center field for his 17th home run of the year. Holliday was the 144th batter faced by Guerra this season, and the first to hit a home run.
The Cardinals collected 18 hits in the game, the most they have had all year and the most allowed by the Dodgers in a game this season.
Matt Kemp stole second base in the eighth inning, his third steal of the season and his first since returning from the disabled list on July 13. Hanley Ramirez walked, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Juan Rivera, but Mitchell Boggs struck him out to end the threat.
Jason Motte struck out the side in the ninth inning for his 22nd save of the season. The Cardinals bullpen pitched 11 2/3 innings in the four-game series against the Dodgers, and allowed two runs on five hits, with one walk and 14 strikeouts.
In Case You Missed It
Before the game Adam Kennedy was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right groin strain. He aggravated the injury on Tuesday night. Shawn Tolleson was recalled from Triple A Albuquerque just one night after getting optioned, though he could be on his way back to Albuquerque as early as Friday when the Dodgers add a starting pitcher to their roster.
The Dodgers move on to San Francisco for a three-game series against the Giants. Matt Cain starts the opener for the hated ones, while Friday's starter for the Dodgers hasn't yet been announced.
Home Runs: Matt Holliday (17)
WP - Jake Westbrook (9-8): 7 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs (3 earned runs), 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
LP - Chris Capuano (10-6): 4 1/3 IP, 11 hits, 6 runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Sv -(22): 1 IP, 3 strikeouts