May 15, 2016
MLB: LA Dodgers Win 2 Against St. Louis -- Cardinals Try To Avoid Sweep

The St. Louis Cardinals have dropped two straight to the LA Dodgers. On Sunday, they'll try to prevent being swept in Los Angeles as they struggle to chase the NL Central leaders, the Chicago Cubs, who still have the best record in Major League Baseball.

Going into Saturday's game, the Dodgers look to pull ahead of the San Francisco Giants as the teams are tied for first place in the NL West. At the same time, the St. Louis Cardinals are tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates for second place in the NL Central, and both teams a staggering nine games behind the Chicago Cubs.

As the St. Louis Cardinals finish a six-game road trip in Los Angeles by starting Mike Leake (1-3, 5.10 ERA) on the mound, the Dodgers plan to answer with Alex Wood (1-3, 4.58 ERA).

Cardinals hitting

Randal Grichuk (.216) was the only Cardinal to have more than one hit on Saturday, going 2-for-4 on the night. Jeremy Hazelbaker's two-run homer in the top of the 9th inning qualified the pinch hitter as the only red bird with multiple RBIs. Starting pitcher Carlos Martinez earned the Cards' first run of the night with a sacrifice fly that allowed Jedd Gyorko to score.

Without registering a hit on Friday, rookie Aledmys Diaz slips to third overall in the MLB for batting average (.377), second in slugging percentage (.667), and fourth in OPS (1.077). Collectively, the Cardinals have more home runs (53) than anyone in the National League (the Baltimore Orioles in the American League have 54). They also lead the National League in slugging (.475) and OPS (.819), trailing only the Boston Red Sox of the American League in both categories.

Cardinals pitching

Carlos Martinez (4-3) was handed his third loss of the year on Saturday. Giving up four earned runs off of five hits (including one homer) in five innings left his ERA at 3.14. Martinez had two strikeouts and three walks. In the bottom the 5th, he gave up three runs off of 40 pitches.

Dean Kiekhefer pitched five outs for the Cards, giving up a solo home run and striking out four Dodgers. Seung Hwan Oh pitched the final four outs, holding Los Angeles to five runs on the night. Oh has the best ERA in the Cardinals bullpen at 1.37.


Upcoming St. Louis Cardinals Schedule

Once the Cardinals finish their series with the Dodgers on Sunday, they'll have one day to travel and rest before starting a nine-game homestretch at Busch Stadium. They'll play three series in St. Louis and two more on the road before their next day off on June 2.

Coming to St. Louis May 17-19 will be the Colorado Rockies (18-18, third in the NL West). After that, the Cardinals welcome the Arizona Diamondbacks (17-22, last in the NL West) to St. Louis for three games. Then, the best team in baseball comes to Busch Stadium: the Chicago Cubs (27-8, still the best record in the NL Central and the entire MLB).

That homestretch is followed by a four-game series in Washington, D.C., against the Nationals (23-14, first in the NL East) and a three-game series in Milwaukee against the Brewers (15-22, fourth in the NL Central).

Where To Watch

The St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Game 3 of the three-game series) is set for Sunday, May 15. As of Sunday morning, plenty of tickets were still available for the Dodgers-Cardinals game directly through the Dodgers' website to watch the Cards vs. Dodgers live in Los Angeles.

Sunday's match-up will be an evening game, scheduled to begin at 5:05 p.m. PST. The Cardinals-Dodgers game will air on ESPN.

[Photo by Harry How/Getty Images]