Dodgers rally from six runs down late to beat Cardinals 7-6
Cody Bellinger began to sense it in the seventh inning, after Will Smith’s two-run home run.
For Trea Turner, the sensation set in during the eighth, when the Dodgers lineup began to mount another rally,
Manager Dave Roberts could tell over the entirety of the last three innings, as his lineup wore down the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen, strung together one productive at-bat after the next, and orchestrated their latest — and biggest — comeback, adding another highlight to their ever-burgeoning season.
“I kind of sound redundant,” Roberts said, “when I say it’s the biggest win of the year.”
After trailing by six runs through six innings, the Dodgers rallied to beat the Cardinals 7-6 on Wednesday at Busch Stadium, completing the team’s biggest come-from-behind win since August 2016 and their 26th such victory this season, matching the New York Yankees for the most in baseball.
“Offensively, I just can’t say enough about the guys,” Roberts said.
“We believe now that, if we keep playing like this, we’re in every game.”
Even ones that look well out of reach.
Last week, the Dodgers proved their comeback capabilities by erasing early deficits six times in a seven-game stretch.
In Tuesday’s series opener in St. Louis, they almost pulled off another, trimming a five-run hole to one before coming up short.
Wednesday’s win was the most improbable.
The Cardinals tagged Tony Gonsolin with not only his worst start of the year, but one of the worst outings of his career.
With two outs in the third, he gave up a two-out single to Paul Goldschmidt, then a two-run home run to Nolan Arenado in the next at-bat.
In the fourth, he was charged with another two-out run after Andrew Knizner lined a double to left.
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, meanwhile, worked in and out of trouble early and kept the Dodgers scoreless over the first five innings.
Wainwright returned to the mound in the sixth and didn’t give up a run.
But he couldn’t complete the inning, recording just one out before handing the game off to the Cardinals’ short-handed bullpen.
Roberts identified that as the first important turning point.
And over the final three innings, his lineup continued to create momentum.
With two outs in the seventh, a streaking Freddie Freeman collected a two-out single — one of five times he reached base Wednesday, his third consecutive game getting aboard at least four times — before Smith hit a two-run home run to center.
The Cardinals’ lead was 6-2.
In the eighth, the Dodgers’ offense got going again. Bellinger singled. Max Muncy drew a walk, his fourth of the game. Then Mookie Betts doubled home one run before Turner drove in two more.
The Cardinals lead was 6-5.
After Craig Kimbrel pitched a clean bottom of the eighth, the Dodgers wasted little time in the ninth.
Justin Turner roped a double the other way to lead off. Bellinger followed with a single that failed to score pinch-runner Austin Barnes — Barnes fell down rounding third but managed to scamper back to the bag safely — but put runners at second and third with no outs.
That brought up Muncy, who had been dropped to the No. 7 spot in the batting order for the first time this year amid another slump in his disappointing season, and had made a costly out in a similar situation Tuesday that kept the Dodgers from completing a comeback.
This time, he produced, lifting a run-scoring sacrifice fly to center.
The Cardinals’ lead was gone, the score now tied at 6-6.
“I let the team down yesterday, had a chance to do the same thing and didn’t get it done,” Muncy said. “So for me, it was really big to make sure to come through today.”
Hanser Alberto produced the decisive swing two batters later, a two-out RBI single to left that gave the Dodgers a 7-6 lead that Evan Phillips protected in the bottom of the inning for a save.
“It’s just really good to see 26 guys playing to win a baseball game,” Roberts said. “They’re not worrying about stats. The only stat they’re worried about is winning. And that’s apparent. … The team offense the last few weeks has been outstanding.”
Added Trea Turner: “We’re just not giving anything away, top to bottom. No matter how the game starts, or how it looks, whether it’s good or bad, we just keep going.”
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