video thumbnail

CHC@STL: Lohse goes seven strong innings for 10th win

After a career year with the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals last season, Kyle Lohse is on pace to turn in an even better one this season with the numbers he has been putting up lately.

The righty will look to throw his 10th straight quality start when the Cardinals host the Dodgers in the third game of a four-game set. The 33-year-old takes the mound with a 10-2 record and a 2.71 ERA, which makes him one of the top pitchers in the National League.

In his last start, Lohse defeated the Cubs with seven innings of one-run ball and he hasn't allowed more than two runs in a game since June 15.

While Lohse has had his way with most teams this season, the Dodgers figured him out on May 20.

In that start, he gave up a season-high 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings. Only one was for extra bases and the Dodgers won 6-5 as Lohse got a no-decision.

"It was a weird, weird outing," Lohse said. "There wasn't a whole lot of really hard contact. Ground balls were just out of somebody's reach."

Dodgers are hitting .284 as a team against him. Adam Kennedy has the most at-bats by far and is 15-for-37 (.405) with three doubles and a triple.

Of course, this isn't the same Dodgers squad Lohse faced in May. Los Angeles swung a deal early Wednesday morning to acquire three-time All-Star Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins. Ramirez is expected to arrive in St. Louis tonight, though it is unclear if he will play.

In the deal, the Dodgers also received left-handed reliever Randy Choate. In exchange, they sent Miami 22-year-old right-handers Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough to Miami. Eovaldi made 10 starts for the Dodgers this season, while McGough was pitching in high Class A.

Lohse will be opposed by Aaron Harang, who has been one of the most consistent starters for the Dodgers recently. The righty comes into Wednesday's start 4-3 with a 2.62 ERA in his last 10 starts. He went only five innings in his most recent outing against the Mets, but he gave up just one earned run and four hits on his way to his seventh victory this season.

A first-inning fielding error by Jerry Hairston and three walks lifted Harang's pitch count to 108, but he was sharp throughout by doing what he has been doing best.

"I just grinded it out the last few innings," he said after the win.

Dodgers: Gordon uses unique rehab to get back
With a neon lime green cast on his right arm, Dee Gordon is unable to throw a ball or swing a bat. Working his way back to the lineup and recovering from an injured right thumb, Gordon has been playing soft toss with an egg to stay active.

"If my hands are soft, the egg won't break," he said. "This helps me work on having soft hands."

He has also been taking ground balls during infield practice and he hits off a tee one-handed.

Manager Don Mattingly has talked to his shortstop about making the most of the downtime, and he has been pleased with the effort.

Mattingly said Gordon has been asking questions and he has been paying attention to game situations.

Cardinals: Matheny not too concerned about division foes
The Cardinals have a lot of ground to make up to catch the first-place Reds in the National League Central, but manager Mike Matheny isn't spending too much time scoreboard watching.

He said there are days he will occasionally take a look at how the other teams are doing, but he's focused mainly on how his Cardinals do on the field.

"In general, I believe we control our own destiny," Matheny said. "And I know there are people kind of distraught that we go through and sweep the Cubs but two out of the other teams swept also. To me, it didn't affect my stance at all, the fact that, OK, now I see us getting on a roll to be playing better baseball. I think we just need to focus on ourselves and not so much what everybody else is doing."

Worth noting
• Harang has allowed no more than four hits in three July starts. He is 2-0 in those starts.

• Lohse is 2-3 with a 5.36 ERA in his career against the Dodgers while striking out 31 in 42 innings. Comments