Mulder hasn’t lost a start since allowing season highs of seven runs and 12 hits in a 7-6 defeat at Cincinnati on June 22. He has yielded just nine runs in 40 innings in his last six outings.
The 6-foot-6 left-hander gave up two runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-2 victory over San Diego on Tuesday. Mulder was far from dominant and benefitted from some strong defense.
“I’m not going to sit here and break this junk down that I threw out there,” Mulder said. “I didn’t want to give in. I wasn’t going to throw the ball over the middle of the plate. If I had to pick, I was going to pick. That’s what you have to do sometimes if you don’t have your best stuff.”
Mulder has been impressive in two career starts against the Dodgers, going 2-0 with an 0.56 ERA. He gave up one run and five hits and struck out a season-high 12 in seven innings of a 4-2 win at home against the Dodgers on May 9.
St. Louis has four starters on the disabled list, including third baseman Scott Rolen and outfielder Reggie Sanders. But Mabry, Abraham Nunez, John Rodriguez and Mike Mahoney are filling in just fine.
Rodriguez, who was called up from the minors on July 18, has hit safely in all 10 games he has started and is batting .350 (14-for-40) overall.
“We miss the guys who play every day, but the guys who are out there are giving us an opportunity and helping us win,” said first baseman Albert Pujols, who had three hits Saturday and is batting .444 (11-for-21) with six RBIs over the last five games.
“It’s a good thing we’ve been able to come in and help out while a lot of these guys have been hurt,” Mabry said. “That’s part of the job when you sign on as a bench player. You just come to the park every day with that mind-set so that you’re ready to step in and the team doesn’t skip a beat. Hopefully, those guys can get back soon and give us a shot in the arm and are fresh for the stretch drive.”
Jeff Kent homered for the Dodgers, who have lost five of their last eight games.