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Dodgers fall to Cardinals in series opener, 7-1

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers returned home to find an unwelcome visitor on Thursday night, as the Cardinals had their run of the bases in a 7-1 win to open a four-game weekend series at Dodger Stadium.

St. Louis had three doubles, nine singles and five walks, putting up crooked numbers in three different innings for their third win over the Dodgers in four meetings this season.

Five of those runs came against starter Carlos Frias, who recorded 14 ground ball outs and pitched into the seventh inning on a night the Dodgers bullpen definitely needed some length from their starting pitcher.

"I thought he showed a lot of heart from the standpoint of hanging in there," manager Don Mattingly said. "For where we were at tonight, he did a great job of staying in that game. We love the effort."

Frias walked three and allowed 10 hits, the second time in three starts he allowed double-digit hits.

"That happens when you make mistakes," Frias said. "That's good to learn, for next time. Hopefully I won't make the same mistakes."

The game was almost the inverse of Saturday's game in St. Louis, a game won by the Dodgers 5-1. But they didn't have as much success against Michael Wacha on Thursday at home, scoring just one run on seven hits in his seven innings. Wacha struck out five and walked none, improving to 8-1 on the season.

Daniel Coulombe continued the take-one-for-the-team effort for the Dodgers, pitching the final 2⅓ innings, matching his longest outing since the start of the 2014 season. The left-hander threw 42 pitches.

Mattingly said after the road trip and specifically the series in Colorado, the Dodgers bullpen was not in good shape for Thursday's game. Kenley Jansen was available but with the lopsided score and the Dodgers trailing he was not used.

"There were a number of guys we weren't willing to use," Mattingly said. "There were a couple more guys we really didn't want to use."

The current seven members of the bullpen made 19 relief appearances in six days on the road trip totaling 17 innings, including 11⅓ innings and 13 appearances in Denver.

"Carlos kept us in the game, and Danny did a great job," Mattingly said. "Those two were the heroes for me tonight, hopefully getting us back in order after that Colorado series."

Joc Pederson doubled to the left field wall in the third inning, a ball that both Pederson and left fielder Matt Holliday was a home run, which would have been Pederson's sixth straight game with a homer. Mattingly is one of three players to hold the major league record with eight straight games with a home run.

"I hope he breaks it, and hits 10-12 in a row," Mattingly said before the game. "I'm not going to give Joc too much advice. Just keep doing what he's doing."

Adrian Gonzalez doubled in the eighth inning, his 21st of the season to lead the majors. He is on pace for 63 doubles this season.

Thursday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Michael Wacha (8-1): 7 IP, 7 hits, 1 run, 5 strikeouts

LP - Carlos Frias (4-3): 6⅔ IP, 10 hits, 5 runs (3 earned), 3 strikeouts