Now that the Los Angeles Dodgers have broken out of their scoreless drought, they’ll next try and end their troubles in St. Louis.
The Dodgers look to end their losing streak in St. Louis at six games when they open a three-game series against the Cardinals on Friday.
Los Angeles (59-55) snapped a season-high six-game losing skid with a 5-4, 11-inning win over Cincinnati on Friday. The Dodgers went 28 innings without scoring before pushing across a run in the first. They were shut out in their previous three games and four of their past five.
“I’m sure something like that can get us started,” Los Angeles manager Grady Little said. “We’ve been through it before, but you can’t get ahead of yourself. You can’t play tomorrow’s ballgame, or yesterday’s. You have to play the game today.”
The Dodgers have won just three of their last 14 games, and have also had little success against the Cardinals (53-59) lately.
Los Angeles won the final two games of a three-game series over St. Louis at Dodger Stadium May 14-16, snapping a 10-game losing streak to the Cardinals— the longest in the 116-year-old history of the series.
Los Angeles has still not won in St. Louis since May 10, 2005, getting outscored 40-12 in its six-game losing streak. The Dodgers, who have dropped 10 of 11 in St. Louis since 2004, are mired in their longest slide there since an eight-game skid July 19, 1988-July 6, 1989.
They also lost two games in St. Louis in a division series in 2004.
Dodgers starter Brad Penny (13-3, 2.66 ERA) is trying to break out of a minor rut of his own.
After losing just once in his first 21 starts of the season, Penny has been saddled with the loss in each of his last two outings. He has made quality starts in each of the defeats, but has received only one run of support in the two games.
On Sunday, he gave up three runs and six hits in seven innings of a 3-0 loss to Arizona. Penny has not dropped three straight starts since last July 16-26, which included two losses to St. Louis.
Penny, who has yet to start against the Cardinals this year, allowed eight runs in 11 2-3 innings in his two losses to them last season. The right-hander has not beaten St. Louis since 2004, going 0-3 with a 7.17 ERA in his last four starts. He has lost both of his road starts in that span, yielding 12 runs in 9 2-3 innings.
The Cardinals beat San Diego 5-0 on Thursday for their third win in four games following a five-game skid.
Right fielder Rick Ankiel, the once-troubled left-handed pitcher, returned to the majors for the first time since 2004, and hit a three-run homer in the No. 2 spot in the batting order for his only hit in four at-bats.
“Unbelievable,” said Ankiel, who led the Pacific Coast League with 32 homers for Triple-A Memphis. “You almost can’t put that into words.”
Adam Wainwright (10-8, 4.35) looks to avenge one of the worst losses of his career when he takes the mound in Friday’s series opener.
The 25-year-old right-hander is 4-1 with a 3.23 ERA in his last six starts, but had a forgettable performance at Dodger Stadium on May 15. He was tagged for a career-high eight runs, seven hits and four walks in a season-low 2 2-3 innings of a 9-7 loss in his first start against Los Angeles. In his three previous outings against the Dodgers, Wainwright had pitched 3 2-3 shutout innings of relief.
Wainwright gave up three runs, eight hits, struck out seven and tossed a career-high 115 pitches in seven innings of a 6-3 loss to Washington on Sunday, but did not factor in the decision.
Albert Pujols is batting .357 (25-for-70) with seven home runs and 23 RBIs in 19 career home games against the Dodgers, and is 12-for-28 (.429) with a homer and five doubles in his career against Penny.
Los Angeles leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal is batting just .154 (4-for-26) in his last six games, but hit a go-ahead homer in the 11th on Thursday. Furcal is 9-for-14 (.643) in three games against the Cardinals this season, and is 4-for-5 with a homer lifetime against Wainwright.