Jhonny Peralta homered and singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night.
Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, playing his second game after missing 39 because of a strained left hamstring, committed a costly fielding error during the Cards’ three-run rally after Matt Carpenter drew a leadoff walk from reliever Adam Liberatore.
Matt Holliday greeted Juan Nicasio (1-2) with a double down the right-field line and the ball got past Puig, allowing pinch-runner Peter Bourjos to score the tying run and Holliday to take third. Peralta, who leads St. Louis with 34 RBIs, followed with his clutch hit and scored on Mark Reynolds’ one-out double to left-center.
Kevin Siegrist (3-0) pitched one inning for the victory, striking out the side in the seventh on 17 pitches. Trevor Rosenthal, the sixth Cardinals pitcher, threw a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 20 attempts.
Carpenter was back in the lineup less than 24 hours after taking a fastball to the right triceps from Clayton Kershaw in the first inning, forcing him out of the game three innings later.
The NL West-leading Dodgers, coming off a 2-0 victory Saturday night in which Kershaw held the Cardinals to one hit over eight innings, were 2-5 in their season series with the Redbirds – who eliminated them from the playoffs in each of the previous two years.
Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke held the team with baseball’s best record to six hits through 6 2/3 innings and struck out eight, giving up his only run in the sixth on Peralta’s ninth homer. But the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner remained winless in six starts – a frustrating stretch in which he’s allowed just one run in five of them.
Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn threw 98 pitches over five innings, allowing two runs and six hits while striking out five. He has yet to give up a home run in 31 career innings against the Dodgers, going 3-1 with a 4.35 ERA and 37 strikeouts in six starts.
Lynn, who was knocked out of a start at Dodger Stadium against Greinke last June because of a blister on his middle finger, got a visit from manager Mike Matheny and a trainer after the Dodgers opened the fifth with Greinke’s second single of the game and a walk to Joc Pederson on the right-hander’s 92nd pitch.
Lynn retired the next three batters on flyballs, using six more pitches before Mitch Harris took over to start the seventh.
Jimmy Rollins, who came to the plate in the Dodgers’ sixth with just two RBIs in his previous 76 at-bats, was deprived of one by right fielder Jason Heyward – who charged his basehit and threw out Andre Ethier at the plate with the help of a lunging tag by Tony Cruz.
Puig singled with one out in the first and came all the way around on Turner’s two-out double. Turner, starting in the cleanup spot for the third time in four games, made it 2-0 in the third with a two-out single that scored Greinke from second base after the pitcher led off the inning with his first hit.
Cardinals: RHP John Lackey (4-3) goes into the opener of a three-game series at cozy Coors Field having allowed just two home runs in his last 68 1/3 innings, spanning 284 batters. He is 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA in five road starts this season. Dodgers: RHP Mike Bolsinger (3-1) opposes former Dodger Rubby De La Rosa in the opener of a three-game set against the visiting Diamondbacks, who selected Bolsinger in the 15th round of the 2010 draft. The Dodgers purchased his contract from Arizona in November after he went 1 6 with a 5.47 ERA in nine starts as a rookie last season.