The Dodgers offense went quiet again, held by Carlos Martinez to just one hit in seven scoreless innings, and the Cardinals held on for a 3-1 win on Sunday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
After a Matt Carpenter single, Jhonny Peralta hit a home run to left field to give the Cardinals all the runs they needed. It was just the fourth home run of the season allowed by Brett Anderson, and his second in his last eight starts.
It was the third time in three games in this weekend series that the Cardinals scored in the first inning. Of the Dodgers' 42 home runs allowed this season, 13 have been hit in the first inning, tied with the Indians for the most in baseball.
Anderson entered Sunday with just 10 unintentional walks in nine starts, but against the Cardinals on Sunday tied a season high with three walks. However, he was able to keep all three from scoring, and really settled down after some early problems with location.
"It was maybe the worst stuff I’ve ever had in the big leagues. It was terrible," Anderson said after the game, as seen on SportsNet LA. "There aren’t too many moral victories in this game, but the fact I gave the team a quality start and two runs with my D+ stuff in this ballpark against a good team, you kind of take solace in that."
After a Randal Grichuk was somehow doubled off first base on a drive to right field to end the third inning, Anderson retired eight of his final nine batters faced, and finished with five strikeouts in six innings, and seven ground ball outs.
Martinez walked three, but the only hit he allowed was a second-inning single by Andre Ethier.
Martinez was especially cruel to Alex Guerrero, hanging the silver sombrero on him with three strikeouts on nine pitches.
The Dodgers' best shot at offense against Martinez came in the form of two drives to the warning track. The first was by Adrian Gonzalez with two outs in the first inning to left field, but was robbed of a double by Grichuk for a second straight day. The second was by Joc Pederson, who flied out to Jason Heyward at the right field wall in the third inning, a few feet short of a game-tying two-run home run.
They threatened again with a pair of one-out walks in the fifth inning, but Martinez struck out Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick to end the inning.
The final act of a frustrating weekend that saw the Dodgers allow seven runs in three games yet lose the series was Justin Turner striking out looking to end the game after two walks by Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal. Turner was angry at the final two pitches, and was ejected by home plate umpire Marty Foster after the game ended.
Joc Pederson cut the Cardinals' lead in half with a solo blast in the eighth inning against southpaw Kevin Siegrist, who struck out his other three batters faced in the inning, including Alberto Callaspo, who was allowed to bat for some reason even with Scott Van Slyke and Justin Turner available to pinch hit. Turner replaced Callaspo at third base on a double switch in the very next inning.
It was the first career home run for Pederson against a left-handed pitcher, in 44 plate appearances.
Pederson leads all major league rookies with 13 home runs this season, and is tied with Orlando Cepeda (1958) for the second-most home runs by a National League rookie through May. Only Albert Pujols, who had 16 home runs through May 2001, had more at this point among NL rookies.
Walk in the park
Both starting pitchers walked, Martinez in the second inning and Anderson in the third. For Anderson it was his fifth walk of the season, most by a major league pitcher this season and more walks than any other team's pitchers as a whole.
Anderson ended his May with four walks and a .417 on-base percentage, the most walks by a Dodgers pitcher in a single month since Rick Honeycutt walked five times in September 1986.
Anderson helped himself on the mound with a pair of pickoffs on Sunday, nabbing Jason Heyward in the second inning and Peter Bourjos in the fifth. On the season Anderson has picked off three runners, tied for second-most in the majors.
It was just the 10th time since 1980 that a Dodgers pitcher had two pickoffs in a game, and the first since Clayton Kershaw on Sept. 20, 2011.
The Dodgers open a four-game, three-day series against the Rockies on Monday at Coors Field in Denver. Kershaw gets the call in the opener, a 5:40 p.m. PT start. Kyle Kendrick starts for Colorado.
Home runs: Joc Pederson (13), Jhonny Peralta (8)
WP - Carlos Martinez (5-2): 7 IP, 1 hit, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
LP - Brett Anderson (2-3): 6 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
Sv - Trevor Rosenthal (15): 1 IP, 2 walks, 1 strikeout