Dodgers vs. Cardinals: Offense needs to get back on track

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

After scoring 32 runs in three games in Toronto against the Blue Jays, the Dodgers have scored 32 runs in the 12 games since.

The Dodgers look to avoid a rare second straight loss on Wednesday night as they battle the Cardinals in the third chapter of their four-game series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. For Los Angeles to get back on the winning track, they need to get their offense back in gear.

In their last 12 games the Dodgers have scored three or fewer runs nine times. They have hit .247/.311/.337 during that span while averaging just 2.67 runs per game. They have also won nine of those 12 games, thanks to amazing pitching — a 1.90 ERA and 25 runs allowed in those 12 games — but they can only count on the pitching staff for so much.

The Dodgers have actually won nine of their last 11 games, with the only losses coming in starts by Clayton Kershaw. On Wednesday, Ricky Nolasco gets the call for the Dodgers, recipient of 14 total runs of support in his last two starts. Nolasco is 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA as a Dodger, with 22 strikeouts and 10 walks in 28 innings. But after lasting seven innings in his Dodgers debut on July 9 Nolasco is been unable to complete six innings, lasting between five and 5⅔ innings in each of his last four starts.

As a member of the Marlins Nolasco beat the Cardinals on June 16, allowing just one run in seven innings.

To support Nolasco and avoid back-to-back losses, something the Dodgers haven't done since June 20-21 in San Diego, the Dodgers will have to beat Shelby Miller, who has been stellar at home this season. In 10 starts at Busch Stadium in 2013, Miller is 6-2 with a 1.74 ERA with 71 strikeouts and just 14 walks in 62 innings.

Miller allowed three runs in 5⅓ innings in a no-decision at Dodger Stadium on May 26, a game eventually won by the Cardinals, over Kershaw.

That Dodgers offense on Wednesday night will include Dee Gordon, in his first appearance since getting recalled on Thursday. Gordon starts at shortstop, batting eighth against St. Louis.

Relief Notes

Jose Dominguez was technically eligible to return from the disabled list for his left quad strain on Wednesday, his 23rd birthday. But the right-hander is still at the club's training facility at Camelback Ranch in Arizona receiving treatment.

Brian Wilson, signed as a free agent by the Dodgers on July 30, makes his minor league debut Wednesday night in a rehab game with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. Wilson, who had Tommy John surgery in April 2012, is eligible to return from the DL as early as Aug. 14.

Game info

Time: 5:15 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket, ESPN

MLB Gameday

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