The Dodgers look to do something on Thursday they haven't done very often in recent years, to win a series in St. Louis. The win on Wednesday assured the Dodgers their 14th consecutive series without a series loss, but a win on Thursday would give them a rare series win at Busch Stadium.
It has become an annual rite of passage for the Dodgers in the past decade to get their brains beaten in St. Louis. It usually happens some time soon after the All-Star break, as their road series at Busch Stadium has happened in either July or August in the last eight years. But 2011 marked the only time in the previous nine years that the Dodgers have won a road series in St. Louis.
Including the first three games of the current series, the Dodgers are just 10-24 (.294) over the last 10 seasons at Busch Stadium.
On the mound looking to complete that turnaround on Thursday is Hyun-jin Ryu, looking for his 11th win of the season. Ryu tied a season high with 11 hits allowed in his last start, on Friday at Wrigley Field, but he also struck out six and walked none to pick up the win. Ryu has 15 strikeouts against just one walk in his last two starts and the Dodgers have won each of his last seven starts (the 48 runs of support, or 6.86 runs per game, have helped, too).
Ryu makes the start Thursday with five days rest. He has made six starts this season on five days rest, and he is 5-0 with a 2.33 ERA with 33 strikeouts and 12 walks in 38⅔ innings.
Carlos Martinez will be recalled from Triple-A Memphis to make the start for the Cardinals on Thursday after Wednesday's scramble saw Jake Westbrook pitch nearly five innings in relief. Martinez, 21, will be making his first major league start. In 10 relief appearances with St. Louis this season he has a 5.56 ERA with 11 strikeouts and four walks in 11⅓ innings.
Due in part to his time in the major league bullpen, coupled with a pair of five-inning starts after getting sent back to Memphis, Martinez hasn't lasted six innings since June 29.
- In case you missed it earlier, the Dodgers on Monday outrighted catcher John Baker to Triple-A Albuquerque. It was a procedural move as Baker was already with the Isotopes, but removes him from the 40-man roster, which now has 39 players.
- The Dodgers said on Thursday that after his eight-pitch perfect inning with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday, relief pitcher Brian Wilson will move his rehab assignment to Triple-A Albuquerque beginning Friday night. Albuquerque hosts Tacoma (a Mariners affiliate) this weekend.
- Yasiel Puig's .433 on-base percentage leads the National League since his debut on June 3.
- Carl Crawford, who had four hits Wednesday night, is 11-for-26 (.423) on the road trip and since the All-Star break is hitting .352/.378/.437 in 16 games.
- Andre Ethier with his three-run double in the ninth inning Wednesday became the fourth Dodger ever with seven consecutive seasons of 25 or more doubles, joining Duke Snider (nine straight, 1949-1957), Dixie Walker (eight straight, 1940-1947) and Steve Garvey (1974-1980).
- Ethier's last 10 doubles have come on the road, in 20 games. He has gone 13 straight home games without a two-bagger. On the season, 16 of Ethier's 25 doubles have been hit on the road.
Time: 5:15 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket