The streaking Los Angeles Dodgers will try to take the momentum from their 10-1 homestand on the road, starting Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
“This homestand is the best baseball we played (this year),” Los Angeles manager David Roberts said. “This is Dodger baseball.”
The Dodgers have won seven consecutive games and 11 of 12 overall. The injury-depleted Cardinals, meanwhile, won back-to-back games against the Phillies to split a four-game series. They had lost six of their previous seven games, including the first two vs. Philadelphia.
“This team is committed to finishing strong (before the All-Star break),” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It’s been a grind. Guys are tired. There’s no hiding that. They’re playing through it, but they’re committed to finishing strong, then resting up and having a strong second half.”
The Dodgers lead the National League in runs per game (5.0) and the majors in team ERA (2.96). They have outscored opponents by 151 runs this season, the second-best differential behind the New York Yankees’ plus-177.
“We’ve been playing good, especially these 20 games in a row that we just did,” Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “And the key was our pitching staff this whole time. They give us chances late in games, and for us to be able to get the big hits at the end of games. It was nice to be able to pick them up, because they picked us up the whole time.”
Los Angeles’ Tuesday starter, right-hander Mitch White (1-1, 3.38 ERA) has allowed just five runs (four earned) in 19 1/3 innings over his past four starts.
“It’s really good to see Mitch come into his own,” Roberts said.
In his most recent outing, White limited the Colorado Rockies to one run, which was unearned, and one hit in 5 2/3 innings on Wednesday in a game the Dodgers eventually won 2-1.
He is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in two career appearances against the Cardinals, including one start.
With Steven Matz (shoulder) wrapping up his rehabilitation assignment, Cardinals rookie Matthew Liberatore (2-1, 4.74 ERA) with get his first opportunity to face the Dodgers.
Liberatore, a left-hander, has made six starts this season and the Cardinals have won five of them, thanks to strong run support and ample relief help.
On Thursday, he worked four scoreless innings at Atlanta as the Cardinals won 3-2 in 11 innings. Liberatore escaped the fourth inning unscathed after the Braves put runners on second and third with no outs.
“I’ve got two options,” Liberatore said. “I’m going to make the pitch anyway. I can either do it with the conviction and confidence and see what I want to happen happen before it happens, or I can hope for things to happen. I went out there and I said, ‘I’m going to throw it with confidence.’
“And if I get beat, I can lay my head on a pillow knowing that I threw what I wanted to throw.”
The Cardinals got left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland back on Monday from his bout with COVID-19 and subsequent rehabilitation assignment. Left-hander Zack Thompson was returned to Triple-A Memphis to make room on the roster.
–Field Level Media