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Cardinals rally against Dodgers bullpen to prevent weekend sweep

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Harry How/Getty Images

The Cardinals broke a tie with three runs against the Dodgers bullpen in the seventh inning, sending Los Angeles to a 5-2 defeat on Sunday night to prevent a weekend sweep at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers used three pitchers to get three outs in the seventh inning, and issued two intentional walks to help stoke the flames, though none of the three runs might have scored were it not for an unfortunate bounce on one of baseball's most instinctual plays.

Louis Coleman got the first out of the seventh, then gave way to southpaw J.P. Howell with a pair of left-handed batters due up. Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a bouncer back up the middle that might have been an easy putout for shortstop Corey Seager, but instead Howell instinctively reached up trying to make a play, and the ball bounced off his glove into no man's land for a hit.

Kolten Wong grounded out to advance Hazelbaker into scoring position, which brought right-hander Joe Blanton into the game. An intentional walk to lefty Brandon Moss brought pinch-hitter Yadier Molina to the plate and took pitcher Mike Leake - who allowed only one run on four hits in six innings, on just 71 pitches - out of the game. But the cost to that benefit proved to be prohibitive, as Molina placed a double into the left field corner to score two runs.

After another intentional walk, Stephen Piscotty singled to drive home Molina for a three-run Cardinals advantage. It snapped a string of 20 consecutive scoreless innings, not that you'd know it by the boos cascading down from the Dodger Stadium crowd.

Blanton would allow another run in the eighth inning, and was charged with three of the four relief runs.

Seager heating up

Corey Seager provided the Dodgers offense on Sunday with a pair of solo home runs, one off Leake in the third inning and another off southpaw Kevin Siegrist in the eighth. It marked the first multi-homer game of Seager's career.

Seager has at least one hit in each of his last eight starts, with six multi-hit games during that span. During that time, which also includes an 0-for-2 game that he didn't start, Seager is 15-for-35 (.429) with four home runs and three doubles.

Wood sharp again

Alex Wood was on his game at home yet again for the Dodgers on Sunday night, allowing just one run in his six innings. Matt Carpenter nearly took him deep with a high fly ball to the right field wall in the first inning, then finished the job with a fly ball hit a few feet farther, and over the fence, in the third inning.

Wood got into some trouble by his own doing in the sixth, walking the first two batters of the inning. That prompted a mound visit by manager Dave Roberts, but he didn't bring the hook, instead opting to let Wood get out of his own jam. Which Wood did, thanks to two ground balls to Corey Seager, the first for a 6-4-3 double play that effectively neutralized the rally.

On the season Wood has allowed five runs in four home starts, and since joining the Dodgers last July has nine quality starts in nine starts at Dodger Stadium, with the last eight of those outings allowing two or fewer runs. Wood's ERA as a Dodger at Dodger Stadium is 1.95.

Up next

The Dodgers continue their homestand with two more games in Los Angeles, the first two games of a home-and-home Freeway Series with the Angels. In Monday's opener the Dodgers will go with Kenta Maeda, with Matt Shoemaker starting for the Halos.

Sunday particulars

Home runs: Corey Seager 2 (6); Matt Carpenter (8)

WP - Mike Leake (2-3): 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

LP - J.P. Howell (1-1): ⅓ IP, 1 hit, 1 run

Sv - Trevor Rosenthal (7): 1 IP, 1 walk, 1 strikeout