Taylor’s clutch hit caps 14-pitch at-bat, Dodgers deck Cards
LOS ANGELES (AP) — With the tension building and the minutes ticking by, Chris Taylor fouled off pitch after pitch from Genesis Cabrera.
Finally, a breakthrough on the 14th delivery. Taylor drove in three runs with a tiebreaking double in the sixth inning, rallying the Los Angeles Dodgers past the St. Louis Cardinals 9-4 on Monday night to snap a three-game skid.
“C.T. was just relentless in that at-bat,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Probably the best one we’ve had this year.”
Taylor fouled off nine pitches — four in a row twice — before coming through with his two-out double for a 6-3 lead.
“He just wasn’t going to be denied,” Roberts said. “The guy was up there throwing 97, 98 mph, breaking ball, changeup.”
Taylor said he lost count of the pitches in what was the longest at-bat of his big league career.
“It was fun when I hit a double,” he said. “During the at-bat, I was trying to stay within myself and black out, so to speak, and just stay focused. I could definitely feel the energy, especially when I came through with the hit.”
Roberts said the at-bat reminded him of Alex Cora’s 18-pitch at-bat in 2004, when Roberts was still a player.
Two batters earlier, Cabrera issued a bases-loaded walk to Will Smith that tied the game. The left-hander threw 34 pitches, 20 for strikes, in two-thirds of an inning.
Taylor also homered in the second and doubled in the eighth, going 3 for 4 with four RBIs and two runs scored.
Trevor Bauer (6-3) allowed four runs — three earned — and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked one. He said he felt “pretty sick” coming into the game without specifying what ailed him.
Asked if Bauer had flu-like symptoms, Roberts said: “I don’t really know. He was trying to stay hydrated. I guess we can put it in that bucket.”
Gavin Lux hit a pair of solo homers for the Dodgers on Roberts’ 49th birthday.
Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty exited with left side tightness after five innings. He equaled his season high with nine strikeouts and walked one. The right-hander gave up two runs and two hits against his favorite team while growing up in nearby Burbank.
St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said Flaherty would be re-evaluated Tuesday. Flaherty said he left “more just to be safe and get it checked out.”
With Flaherty gone, the Dodgers batted around in the sixth. Ryan Helsley (3-3) gave up a double to Max Muncy and a single to Justin Turner. Cabrera came in and loaded the bases on a walk to Cody Bellinger before walking Smith to force in the tying run.
All four of the Cardinals’ runs came on three homers off Bauer. Justin Williams went deep leading off the sixth with a shot that hit the screen on the right-field foul pole. Tommy Edman reached on second baseman Zach McKinstry’s second throwing error of the game and scored on Dylan Carlson’s homer for a 3-2 lead. Tyler O’Neill added a solo shot in the seventh that left the Cardinals trailing 6-4.
“It seems like my luck on homers is terrible right now,” Bauer said.
Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Yadier Molina combined to go 0 for 11 for St. Louis, which dropped to second behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
Cardinals: SS Paul DeJong (left rib non-displaced fracture) will have further imaging done Thursday in St. Louis. He’s making progress, playing catch, throwing and taking light swings.
Dodgers: RHP Tony Gonsolin (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to throw five innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday. If all goes well, he’ll rejoin the Dodgers after that. ... RHP Brusdar Graterol (right forearm tightness) was to throw a simulated game for Oklahoma City on Monday. ... OF AJ Pollock (hamstring) was set to play for OKC on Monday and Tuesday before rejoining the Dodgers later this week. ... OF Mookie Betts was back in the lineup after sitting out Sunday when an allergic reaction affected his eyes. He went 2 for 3, drove in a run and walked once.
Cardinals: RHP John Gant (4-3, 1.81 ERA) starts Tuesday against the Dodgers for just the second time in his career and first since 2018. He held them hitless in three relief appearances in 2019, with the Cardinals winning all three games.
Dodgers: It’ll be a bullpen game on Tuesday.
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