ST. LOUIS ( Associated Press) — Hanser Alberto hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the ninth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers came out of a huge slump with a 7-6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
Los Angeles, which has won eight of nine, rallied from a 6-0 deficit with seven runs in the final three innings. The late rally relieved undefeated All-Star Tony Gonsolin of responsibility for his first loss of the season after an ineffective start.
Mookie Betts had an RBI double in the eighth and Trea Turner’s two-run single cut the score to 6-5. Max Muncy tied the ninth with a sacrifice fly.
“We feel like we’re never out of it, no matter what the score is,” Muncy said. “We know who we are. We know what we’ve been doing. You just have to find a way to stay in the game, even when it seems like it’s really bad. We’re really good at doing that.”
The Dodgers were shut out with four hits in the first six innings.
“No matter what it looks like, we’re still going,” Turner said. “The way you win is always fun too. (This) was a little nicer in the clubhouse. I feel like the vibrations are high.”
Los Angeles got its 26th victory from behind, leading the National League. This marked their biggest comeback of the year.
“I sound a little redundant when I say it’s the biggest win of the year,” manager Dave Roberts said. “But it was a big one.”
Will Smith started the rally with a two-run home run in the seventh. Freddie Freeman went 3-for-3 for the Dodgers and has 12 hits in his last 14 at-bats.
Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer and Paul Goldschmidt hit an early two-run single for St. Louis, which had won three straight.
Alberto, who entered in the eighth, singled to left off reliever Giovanny Gallegos (2-4) to score Cody Bellinger from third base.
Justin Turner doubled and Bellinger singled to start the ninth.
Craig Kimbrel (3-4) got the win with a scoreless inning of relief. Evan Phillips earned his second major league save and first this season.
The Cardinals got to Gonsolin quickly.
The right-hander, who had an 11-0 record with a major league-best 1.62 ERA, allowed five earned runs and seven hits in five innings. He hadn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his previous 16 starts this season.
“I thought my slider was really bad,” Gonsolin said. “I didn’t do a good job of executing two-strike pitches. They jumped over some mistakes early.”
Arenado capped a four-run rally in the third with his 18th home run. Goldschmidt, the previous batter, broke a scoreless tie with his two-run single.
St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright allowed four hits in 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out five and walked four in a 114-pitch season. The 40-year-old right-hander, the fourth-oldest player in the majors, has pitched five or more innings in 16 of 18 starts this season. He walked away with a 5-0 lead.
Lars Nootbaar and Andrew Knizner had run-scoring hits for St. Louis.
“Putting down five (Gonsolin) was great,” manager Oliver Marmol said. “You just can’t give up seven starting in the seventh inning.”
THE MACHINE ADVANCES
St. Louis DH/1B Albert Pujols will appear in his fifth All-Star Home Run Derby next Monday in Los Angeles. At 42 years old, the slugger will become the oldest participant, surpassing Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro, who competed in 2004 at 39 years old.
Cardinals: INF Brendan Donovan missed his fifth straight start with an illness other than COVID-19. He grounded out pinch-hitting in the ninth. … OF Tyler O’Neill will likely be back in the next few days. He has been out since June 20 with a sprained knee and wrist pain.
UP AND DOWN
The Cardinals activated RHP Drew VerHagen from the 15-day disabled list. LHP Matthew Liberatore was optioned to Triple-A Memphis. Liberatore allowed three runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings of a 7-6 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Los Angeles LHP Tyler Anderson (9-1, 3.15 ERA) will face RHP Dakota Hudson (6-5, 4.00) in the three-game series finale on Thursday. Anderson, who has already set a career high for wins, is 0-2 with a 7.90 ERA against St. Louis. Hudson pitched six shutout innings in a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday.
More Associated Press MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.