Lackey pitched seven scoreless innings on Friday, running his career mark against the Dodgers to 6-3 with a 1.75 ERA in 12 games, including 11 starts. He walked one and struck out nine, matching Madison Bumgarner (on April 28) for most strikeouts by a pitchers against the Dodgers this season.
The final two of those strikeouts were needed in the seventh inning, when the Dodgers threatened with two singles to open the frame by Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner. But Lackey struck out Andre Ethier looking and one out later got A.J. Ellis swinging to end what was the Dodgers' best offensive threat of the night.
Those two strikeouts laid the groundwork for two Dodgers ejections. Ethier vehemently disagreed with his third strike, thinking the pitch was low. But while he protested, manager Don Mattingly was thrown out by home plate umpire Mike Winters.
For Ellis, it was his third strikeout of the night, the first two looking. In the bottom of the seventh, Ellis was behind the plate when Matt Carpenter walked, with a pitch or two Ellis felt didn't go the Dodgers' way. Whatever Ellis said, it was enough to get him ejected.
After the game, Ellis voiced his displeasure at Winters' antics behind the plate.
"I had a rough game, Mike had a rough game," Ellis told reporters, as shown on the SportsNet LA broadcast. "Sometimes when you try your best, you still don't do a good job."
#Dodgers AJ Ellis said HP ump Mike Winters told him "Your presentation wasn't good" on ball/strike calls. Set Ellis off, led to ejection— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 30, 2015
#Dodgers AJ Ellis on Winters comment: "People on blogs and websites can critique my framing but I’m not going to take it from an umpire"— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 30, 2015
Ellis on the season is 7-for-51, hitting just .137/.241/.176 so far.
Mike Bolsinger didn't have the best of starts, but managed to allow two runs on seven hits in six innings, with three walks and three strikeouts. The Dodgers couldn't have asked for more from him.
That Bolsinger even lasted through six was a plus, since the game started with St. Louis loading the bases with no outs in the first inning. But Bolsinger escaped allowing only one run in the inning, then got burned by back-to-back two-out doubles in the third inning for a second run.
That was enough to beat the Dodgers, who were shutout for the fourth time in their last four road games. The club has gone without a run wearing the gray uniforms since the eighth inning on May 10 at Coors Field, a span of 37 consecutive innings on the road without a run.
Carlos Frias gets the call on Saturday evening, a 4:15 p.m. PT start on Fox. He will likely be throwing to Yasmani Grandal, who is eligible to return from the disabled list. The Cardinals will counter with Michael Wacha.
Home runs: none
WP - John Lackey (3-3): 7 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts
LP - Mike Bolsinger (3-1): 6 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
Sv - Trevor Rosenthal (14): 3 up, 3 down