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Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- Make it 15 straight road wins for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Zack Greinke scattered eight hits over 6 1/3 effective innings and knocked in a run Monday night as the Dodgers edged the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 in a potential National League playoff preview at Busch Stadium.

In the seventh inning, Greinke's two-out RBI single to right-center off Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright scored Nick Punto for a 3-1 lead. It was the 15th hit in 37 at-bats for the Los Angeles right-hander (.405 average).

More important, Greinke (9-3) was able to bear down in tough situations against a team leading the majors with a .339 average with runners in scoring position. The Cardinals were only 1-for-7 in those situations against Greinke and 1-for-9 overall.

St. Louis pulled within a run in its half of the seventh on Allen Craig's grounder to first, his 86th RBI of the year. However, Matt Holliday left the tying run at third with a first-pitch grounder to short.

Wainwright (13-7) allowed seven hits and three runs in seven innings. He walked two and fanned five. Still, he took his third straight loss and remained in a three-way tie for the National League lead in wins with teammate Lance Lynn and the Washington Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann.

Paco Rodriguez worked the last two innings for the Dodgers, earning his second save as Los Angeles (62-49) increased its NL West lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks to six games. The Cardinals (65-46) dropped two games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central.

St. Louis grabbed the lead in the bottom of the first with the help of shaky Los Angeles defense. Matt Carpenter led off with a double to right-center and took third when right fielder Yasiel Puig bobbled the ball for an error.

Carlos Beltran then hit a bouncer to Punto, filling in at shortstop for the injured Hanley Ramirez. Punto threw home in an attempt to erase the late-breaking Carpenter, but his throw sailed over the head of catcher A.J. Ellis as Carpenter scored easily.

The Dodgers took the lead in the fourth with two runs. Andre Ethier's broken-bat single plated Adrian Gonzalez, and Ellis' fielder's choice bouncer scored Puig, who doubled off the base of the right-center-field wall after Gonzalez walked.

NOTES: St. Louis RHP Chris Carpenter (nerve inflammation) said Monday that he's not optimistic about his chances of pitching this year. Carpenter felt numbness in his right hand during his second rehab game July 20 for Triple-A Memphis and hasn't thrown since. He allowed 15 hits and seven runs, six earned, in two rehab starts last month ... Los Angeles recalled SS Dee Gordon from Triple-A Albuquerque and sent RHP Shawn Fife to the Pacific Coast League squad. Gordon could be insurance in case Ramirez has to be disabled due to a jammed right shoulder. ... Cardinals OF Shane Robinson (straight right shoulder) took batting practice Monday and said he should he ready to go when he is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Aug. 15.
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