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Dodgers offense takes charge to win opener with Cardinals

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It certainly doesn't make up for the 2013 NLCS, but the Dodgers got some small measure of revenge in knowing that Michael Wacha is capable of allowing them runs. They came in bunches on Friday in an 8-4 win over the Cardinals in the opener of a three-game weekend series at Dodger Stadium.

Friday also marked a series of firsts for Ross Stripling, who labored into the sixth inning for his first major league win, and also got his first major league hit, against his former college roommate and teammate, no less.

Stripling with two outs in the second inning singled to right field against Wacha, his teammate at Texas A&M for three years. The singled extended the inning, one that saw the Dodgers tack on another run, something they were able to do all night against Wacha and others.

The Cardinals didn't do Wacha any favors with four errors behind their starter, but Wacha also allowed eight hits and three walks while only recording 12 outs on the night.

The Dodgers scored runs in five consecutive innings, and with the offensive outburst scored their most runs in any home game this season.

Most of the lineup contributed in the production. Howie Kendrick, batting leadoff on Friday, was robbed of a home run in the first inning with a leaping catch at the wall by Randal Grichuk, but still had two hits and scored twice. Trayce Thompson, getting the start in left field, hit a two-run single in the second.

Yasiel Puig had a pair of singles and then for some insurance homered over the short wall down the right field line in the sixth inning. He scored twice and drove in two runs, after entering play Friday in an 8-for-54 (.148) slump. I guess the electroshock therapy worked for him.

Stripling wasn't at his best but he made it through five innings, even facing two batters in the sixth.  The right-hander allowed 11 runners to reach base and four runs, and threw two wild pitches. But thanks to the offense he picked up his first major league victory, in his seventh start.

Such is baseball. It snapped the longest streak of starts for a Dodgers pitcher without a win to start his career since a fellow named Clayton Kershaw went without a win in his first seven starts in 2008, per STATS LLC.

Down four runs in the ninth, the Cardinals threatened with a pair of runners against Joe Blanton, but Kenley Jansen got Matt Holliday to ground into a double play to end the game. It was Jansen's 12th save of the season.

Join the 3-bag club

Kolten Wong tripled to lead off the second inning but, in keeping tradition with the utter sloppiness of this game, was caught off third on an otherwise harmless combacker to pitcher one batter later. But later, Wong tripled in the sixth inning and scored, joining some select company.

Wong became just the 12th player to hit two triples in a game at Dodger Stadium, and the first since Blake DeWitt on May 17, 2010.

Diaz giveth, Diaz taketh

Aledmys Diaz has been one of the best stories in baseball in the early going, and with his fourth-inning home run and sixth-inning double is hitting a whopping .387/.415/.685 on the year. It has been hard to find any flaws in the latest Cardinals diamond in the rough, until Friday night.

Diaz made three errors at shortstop on Friday, giving him a major-league-high nine on the season. The batters who reached on his first two errors scored, and the third error allowed a run to score on what would have been the third out of the inning.

Up next

The Dodgers go for a third straight win on Saturday night, a 6:10 p.m. PT start, with Scott Kazmir on the mound. The Cardinals will send Carlos Martinez to the hill.

Friday particulars

Home runs: Yasiel Puig (3); Aldemys Diaz (6)

WP - Ross Stripling (1-2): 5+ IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

LP - Michael Wacha (2-4): 4 IP, 8 hits, 6 runs (2 earned), 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (12): 1 up, 2 down