LOS ANGELES --Through the first two games of their four-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals, the offense of the Los Angeles Dodgers had been nonexistent. The bats were bailed out by a brilliant performance from Josh Beckett in Thursday night's 1-0 win, then left Hyun-Jin Ryu out to dry in a 3-1 loss Friday. Apparently, they were saving the fireworks for Saturday, hanging seven runs and nine hits on Cardinals starter Lance Lynn en route to a 9-1 win.
How it happened: The Dodgers were aided by some decidedly non-Cardinal Way defense in the first, when Cardinals shortstop Daniel Descalso muffed a potential inning-ending double-play ball off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez, allowing Yasiel Puig to score. In the bottom of the second, the Dodgers pummeled Lynn into submission. RBI doubles by Justin Turner, A.J. Ellis and Dee Gordon were followed by consecutive run-scoring singles from Gonzalez and Matt Kemp, then capped by a bloop double for Andre Ethier. By the time the smoke cleared, the Dodgers had posted six runs (a season high for one inning) and led 7-0.
Hits: The lineup had plenty of stars. Nine different Dodgers had hits, seven knocked in runs, and eight scored. Meanwhile on the mound, Zack Greinke threw a tidy seven innings, giving up one run (a third-inning solo shot from Matt Carpenter) and four hits, striking out 10 with no walks for his 10th win of the year. He matches Adam Wainwright and Alfredo Simon for the National League's high-water mark.
Misses: While the first two innings amounted to a near nonstop Funapalooza of bouncy houses, face painting, and carnival games, there was still some bad news. After Ethier led off the second with a single, Turner laced an RBI double into the right-field corner, but after reaching second he was forced to leave the game with what the Dodgers said was a left hamstring injury. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez, playing his first game since June 23 thanks to a right shoulder problem, also left the game in the top of the third.
Stat of the game: Dodgers starters have now walked two or fewer batters in 32 consecutive games, the longest single-season streak by a National League team since 1914, according to Stats LLC.
Up next: The Dodgers wrap up their series with the Cardinals on Sunday with first pitch at 1:10 pm PT. It's a matchup of young phenoms, as St. Louis sends right-hander Shelby Miller (7-6, 3.75) to the mound against Clayton Kershaw (8-2, 2.24). The reigning NL Cy Young winner hasn't given up a run since the third inning of his start against Arizona on June 13, a span of 20 innings that also includes a no-hitter. Over Kershaw's past 37 innings, he has given up four runs (0.97 ERA), walked two and struck out 48.