New guy Yasiel Puig was right in the middle of a two-run rally in the eighth inning, providing the only offense of the night in the Dodgers' 2-0 win over the Cardinals on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, snapping a three-game losing streak for Los Angeles.
Clayton Kershaw had his best start of the season, allowing one single in eight innings, striking out 11 with two walks and a hit by pitch. That hit by pitch indirectly played a role in the outcome, with Dodgers nemesis Matt Carpenter getting plunked near the right elbow in the first inning.
Carpenter left the game in the fourth inning with a right triceps contusion, and is listed as day-to-day.
The injury proved to be costly for St. Louis when Chris Heisey opened the eighth inning with a hard grounder down the third base line that managed to get by Pete Kozma - who started at second base but moved to third when Carpenter left the game - even though Kozma was guarding the line.
Puig followed with a booming double to right center field, giving the Dodgers a lead, then showed no problems with his left hamstring, scoring easily from second base on a line-drive single by Justin Turner off the glove of a diving Kolten Wong at second base.
In his first game for the Dodgers since April 24, Puig was 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
Kershaw's eight innings marked his longest start of the season, and tied Mike Bolsinger for the longest start by a Dodgers pitcher this season. Kershaw has lasted at least seven innings in each of his last four starts, allowing six total runs during that span, with 35 strikeouts and five walks in 29⅓ innings during that span.
Kershaw now has 101 strikeouts on the season, tops in the National League and only four behind Corey Kluber for the major league lead.
Jaime Garcia matched zeroes with Kershaw until the seventh, and on the night walked none while striking out six. He took the hard luck loss, falling to 1-3 on the season despite his 2.67 ERA, thanks to the Cardinals scoring no runs in three of his four starts.
Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth in his first outing since his high blood pressure scare, for his sixth save.
Saturday marked the sixth team one-hitter in the majors this season, and the second by the Dodgers, who also one-hit the Padres on May 23 (the Bolsinger start).
The Dodgers go for a series split in their first appearance of the season on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, sending Zack Greinke to the hill. The Cardinals will counter with Lance Lynn.
Home runs: none
WP - Clayton Kershaw (5-3): 8 IP, 1 hit, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts
LP - Jaime Garcia (1-3): 7 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 6 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (6): 1 IP, 1 strikeout