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Dodgers falter again in 8th inning, drop another one to Cardinals

Jhonny Peralta was a thorn in the Dodgers' side for a second straight weekend.
Jhonny Peralta was a thorn in the Dodgers' side for a second straight weekend.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- For the second time in three games the Dodgers blew a one-run lead in the eighth inning, falling to the Cardinals 4-2 on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium. But while the three-run eighth inning against the Dodgers bullpen will garner most of the attention, the Dodgers offense was quite an accomplice on Sunday, scoring two or fewer runs for the 14th time in their last 18 games outside of Coors Field.

Up 2-1 entering the eighth inning, Adam Liberatore - who struck out Kolten Wong - walked fellow lefty Adam Carpenter to open the eighth. Juan Nicasio then allowed a game-tying triple into the right field corner to Matt Holliday, with a Yasiel Puig misplay helping Holliday advance to third.

A single by Jhonny Peralta gave the Cardinals the lead, then one out later Mark Reynolds doubled to left center for some insurance.

The loss dropped the Dodgers to 2-5 against the Cardinals this season, and was the first series loss at Dodger Stadiuim since Aug. 15-17, 2014 against Milwaukee. The Dodgers were 12-0-1 in their last 13 home series before dropping three of four this weekend to the St. Louis.

The Dodgers in their last 22 games, including the four games this week at Coors Field, are averaging just 3.0 runs per game. They scored just six runs in this four-game series.

Kevin Siegrist struck out all three batters he faced in the seventh inning for the win. The Cardinals bullpen in the series pitched nine scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts, allowing only five hits and a walk.

Zack Greinke pitched into the seventh inning and struck out eight while only walking one, but exited with two outs in the seventh inning with a runner on first base, after throwing 99 pitches.

He battled out of jams all night. The Cardinals put runners in scoring position in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings against Greinke, including a leadoff double in the fourth by Peralta. But all the runners were stranded, thanks to Greinke holding St. Louis to 0-for-6 with four strikeouts and a walk with runners in scoring position on the night.

The Cardinals got their lone tally off Greinke with a solo home run to left by Peralta in the sixth inning.

Peralta was 3-for-4 on the night with two runs scored and two runs batted in, and in seven games against the Dodgers these last two weekends was 11-for-25 (.440) with five extra-base hits and eight RBI.

Cleanup man

Justin Turner batted cleanup on Sunday, just the fourth time this season in the fourth spot and the sixth start in his career. He was in the right place at the right time, batting with runner(s) on base and two outs in each of his first three at-bats.

Turner doubled home Puig in the first inning, then singled home Greinke in the third inning. Turner ended his night 2-for-4 with both RBI.

It helped to fill the void left by Howie Kendrick, who was out of the starting lineup for a fourth straight game with a stiff left knee, though he entered the game in a double switch in the seventh inning. Kendrick has batted third or fourth in each of his starts this season. Like Kendrick, Turner isn't a conventional cleanup hitter, and not one manager Don Mattingly expected to be hitting fourth this season.

"He's a good hitter, so I like that. I don't look at it as a cleanup hitter," Mattingly explained before the game. "I just look at it as a guy in that spot, being a guy who will protect Adrian Gonzalez hopefully."

Turner is 5-for-14 (.357) with four RBI batting cleanup this season, and hitting .307/.380/.496 overall.


Greinke in addition to his work on the mound also contributed at the plate, which meant sharing 'Careless Whisper' with a national audience. Or at least it would have been shared had ESPN returned from commercial at the beginning of either of his at-bats, each of which led off innings.

Greinke was 2-for-2 with a run scored and this season is 3-for-5 (.600) with 'Careless Whisper' as his at-bat music. He is 2-for-19 (.105) with a walk in his other plate appearances this season.

Sunday particulars

Home run: Jhonny Peralta (9)

WP - Kevin Siegrist (3-0): 1 IP, 3 strikeouts

LP - Juan Nicasio (1-2): ⅓ IP, 3 hits, 2 runs

Sv - Trevor Rosenthal (19): 1 IP, 1 strikeout