Thursday night saw one of the best pitching duels of the season, with Josh Beckett and Adam Wainwright matching zeroes for most of the night. But it was Justin Turner who broke a scoreless tie with a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning to lift the Dodgers over the Cardinals 1-0 in the opener of a four-game series at Dodger Stadium.
Juan Uribe, in his first game back off the disabled list, singled to open the eighth, was sacrificed to second, then advanced to third on an infield single by Miguel Rojas to set up Turner's heroics. Turner in June is hitting .389/.459/.519 with 10 RBI in 61 plate appearances.
Beckett continued his magical campaign with seven more scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out four. But he had to to keep pace with the great Wainwright, who carved up the Dodgers all night.
Dee Gordon led off the game with a walk, but then Wainwright retired his next 15 batters faced. In the first game at Dodger Stadium since Clayton Kershaw's no-hitter on June 18, the Cardinals ace right-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth.
But Rojas quickly ended those hopes with a leadoff single, then one out later a hit by Gordon gave the Dodgers a rally, albeit a fruitless one.
Wainwright pitched eight innings for his third complete game of the season, allowing just the one run on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Beckett's game almost wasn't scoreless, thanks to some two-out hitting by the Cardinals in the seventh. Allen Craig drove a ball to right field over the head of Yasiel Puig, who took a St. Louisian route to the ball, which landed for a double. Jon Jay followed with a single to left field, and Matt Kemp unleashed a great throw home to nail Craig at the plate to keep the game scoreless.
The play was reviewed by crew chief and first base umpire Bill Miller as a possible violation of Rule 7.13 (the new rule on plate blocking designed to prevent home plate collisions), but upon instant replay the call was upheld, ending Beckett's night.
Beckett has pitched 14 consecutive scoreless innings, and has allowed four runs in his last 29 frames to reclaim the team ERA lead from Kershaw, who doesn't yet have enough innings to qualify. Beckett does and at 2.11 his ERA is third in the National League.
Wainwright, who saw his 12-inning scoreless streak snapped in the eighth, is second at 2.01.
Brian Wilson, pitching for a second consecutive night, looked arguably his best all season with two strikeouts in a perfect eighth inning. On his bobblehead night, Wilson earned the win.
The Cardinals got a flare single in the ninth against Kenley Jansen, but any thoughts of a rally died when pinch runner Peter Bourjos came off the bag on a stolen base attempt at second base and was tagged out.
The Dodgers will send Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound on Friday night in the second game of the series, facing off against Carlos Martinez, making his third start of the year for St. Louis after more than two months in the bullpen.
Home runs: none
WP - Brian Wilson (1-2): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts
LP - Adam Wainwright (10-4): 8 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (24): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout