The Dodgers offense reached a pretty deep hole before digging out of it, with Yasmani Grandal providing the shovel in a 5-1 win over the Cardinals on a rainy Saturday night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Carlos Frias made it stand up with a turnaround of his own, pitching a career-high seven innings. Six days after allowing 10 runs in four innings in loss to San Diego, Frias allowed only an unearned run in the first inning.
Frias struck out three, but relied on his worm-killing tendencies, inducing 10 ground ball outs, including three double plays.
Michael Wacha held the Dodgers scoreless through five innings, extending the club's streak to 42 consecutive scoreless innings on the road, setting a new franchise mark for futility. The previous Dodgers record was 41 straight scoreless frames away from home set in Brooklyn from Aug. 21-24, 1908.
The 42 innings was the sixth-longest road scoreless streak in MLB history, per the Elias Sports Bureau, just six innings shy of a trio of teams (1968 Cubs, 1966 Astros, 1906 Athletics) with the major league record.
The Dodgers on Saturday didn't even have a hit until Justin Turner, batting second in a shuffled batting order, doubled off the right field wall with one out in the sixth inning. A wild pitch advanced him to third then, after Adrian Gonzalez was hit by a pitch, Howie Kendrick ended the carnage with a run-scoring single to tie the game at 1-1.
One out later, with Wacha still in the game, Grandal blasted a ball into the center field seats for a 4-1 lead and his third three-run home run of the month. Grandal, who was activated off the seven-day concussion disabled list before the game, is hitting .396 (21-for-53) with four home runs, four doubles, and a team-leading 18 RBI in just 17 games in May.
Turner was 2-for-4 with a walk, and Kendrick was 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI back in the cleanup spot.
Frias even contributed on offense, dropping down a perfect bunt for a seventh-inning single, his first major league hit after starting his career 0-for-18 with 11 strikeouts.
The Dodgers tacked on a run in the eighth inning with three singles, including the first RBI as a Dodger by Alberto Callaspo.
The game began late thanks to a rain delay of two hours, 20 minutes.
Eric Stults, acquired from Atlanta and designated for assignment on Wednesday, cleared waivers and on Saturday was sent outright to Double-A Tulsa. Stults has the right to decline that assignment and become a free agent, but in doing so would forfeit the remaining roughly $1.4 million of his salary this season. His decision is pending.
The Dodgers go for the series win on Sunday morning, an 11:15 a.m. PT start, with Brett Anderson on the mound. The Cardinals will counter with Carlos Martinez.
Home run: Yasmani Grandal (5)
WP - Carlos Frias (4-2): 7 IP, 5 hits, 1 unearned run, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP - Michael Wacha (7-1): 5⅔ IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts