ST. LOUIS (CBSLA.com/AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers stayed pretty low-key during their 15-game road winning streak. Now that it’s over don’t they don’t expect that to change.
St. Louis ended the Dodgers’ remarkable run with a 5-1 victory Tuesday night.
“The biggest thing we wanted to focus on is the streak really didn’t mean anything passed that night’s game,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “The games that you won are gone. You can’t win them again.”
Still, there is pride in the streak that drew national attention. Los Angeles outscored its opponents 89-38 while hitting .296 and posting a 2.41 team ERA.
The Dodgers began the run with a win in San Francisco and followed with three-game triumphs in Arizona, Washington and Toronto. They won four at the Chicago Cubs and won the opener of a four-game set in St. Louis 3-2 on Monday.
Clayton Kershaw, who took the loss on Tuesday, was philosophical about the end to the run.
“This just means we’ve got to start a new one tomorrow,” he said. “It was a pretty cool thing, for sure. It’s definitely not something to take lightly.”
The Dodgers last loss away from home came in a 4-2 defeat at San Francisco on July 6.
Carlos Beltran and Matt Adams homered in the eighth inning and Joe Kelly pitched into the sixth to help the Cardinals to the victory.
Kelly went 5 1-3 innings, outperforming Kershaw and helping St. Louis to its fourth victory in the last six games. Tony Cruz added an RBI single.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a one-out RBI single off Kelly (3-3) in the sixth, but that was it for Los Angeles against Kelly. He left with runners on first and second and the Cardinals nursing a 2-1 lead.
“Kershaw is a stud, but I was just trying to be the same guy I have been,” Kelly said. “Working my tail off and battling those guys.”
Kelly improved to 3-0 in five starts since rejoining the starting rotation on July 6. He was working on a scoreless streak of 20 innings before the Dodgers scored in the sixth. Kelly allowed six hits while lowering his ERA to 2.98. The 20-inning scoreless string is the longest by a St. Louis pitcher his season.
“We needed him to come up big for us and that’s exactly what he did,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “He used both sides of the plate and his change-up was sharp. He couldn’t have done much more than what he did.”
Even Kershaw was impressed with Kelly’s effort.
“He made pitches when he had to and he got a lot of double-play balls,” Kershaw said.
The Dodgers had runners on in seven innings but failed to come up with the key hit. St. Louis recorded four double plays, all over the first six innings.
“It was one of those games that was a one-run game and we had a couple chances with men in scoring position,” Mattingly said. “We didn’t take advantage in those spots. Those are the kind of runs that you can’t give away.”
The Dodgers’ biggest opportunity came in the sixth. They battled to within 2-1 and loaded the bases with one away. But St. Louis reliever Seth Maness got A.J. Ellis to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
“It’s pretty frustrating,” Los Angeles outfielder Andre Either said. “It’s not like (Kershaw) gave it away.”
The Cardinals grabbed control in the eighth. Beltran hit his team-high 20th homer off Brandon League for a 3-1 lead. Matt Holliday then walked before Adams connected for his third pinch-hit drive of the season.
“Every time you contribute to help the team score, it feels good,” Beltran said. “This was a good team win.”
Kershaw (10-7) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings for Los Angeles, which dropped to 15-3 since the All-Star break. The left-hander is 5-2 with a sparkling 1.62 ERA over his last eight starts.
Cruz helped the Cardinals take the lead in the sixth. He singled in Jon Jay, then moved to third on Pete Kozma’s double. He came home on Kelly’s bouncer to second, lifting St. Louis to a 2-0 lead.
The Cardinals used six pitchers.
“It was a big bullpen day,” Kelly said. “I just happened to get the ball to start the game off.”
The Dodgers came up two wins short of tying the major league single-season mark of 17 straight road wins for the Detroit Tigers from April 3-May 24, 1984, and New York Giants from May 9-29, 1916. The two-season mark is 21 in a row by Detroit from Sept. 18, 1983 to May 24, 1984.
The Dodgers will have a six game home stand at Chavez Ravine following the conclusion of the current road trip.
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