LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adam Wainwright allowed one run in a complete game that began with five hitless innings against the Dodgers. That still wasn't enough to overcome an equally stellar outing by Josh Beckett.
Pinch-hitter Justin Turner delivered an RBI single in the eighth off Wainwright, and Los Angeles edged the St. Louis Cardinals 1-0 Thursday night in their first meeting since last year's NL championship series.
"I think one run would have been enough tonight the way he was throwing the ball," said Cardinals second baseman Mark Ellis, a former Dodger. "He was typical Wainwright. He has four above-average pitches and throws them wherever he wants. He knows their lineup and how to throw those guys."
Wainwright (10-4) took a hard-luck loss, giving up five hits while going the distance for the 19th time in 201 regular-season starts. The right-hander was runner-up to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in last year's NL Cy Young Award voting.
"I knew it was going to be tough, but I don't think I deserve very much of the credit," Beckett said. "My defense really picked me up tonight, and we got a late run off of a pretty tough pitcher."
Beckett pitched seven sharp innings in a tight duel with the Cardinals' ace and was helped out considerably by left fielder Matt Kemp, who threw out Allen Craig at the plate in the seventh inning as he tried to score on Jon Jay's two-out single.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny challenged the call by umpire Vic Carapazza that Drew Butera tagged Craig in time, but a replay review upheld the decision and the game remained scoreless.
"I wasn't surprised they sent him. Right there in the late innings, it's do or die," Kemp said. "I got a good jump on it, got to the ball quick and threw it. Butera made a good tag and we got the out. Defense is just as important as offense. Defense won us that game today."
Juan Uribe, just off the disabled list after missing 34 games with a right hamstring strain, led off the Dodgers eighth with a single and advanced on Butera's sacrifice bunt before rookie Miguel Rojas' infield single put runners at the corners.
Turner, batting for reliever Brian Wilson, came through with his 20th RBI of the season.
"I think he's used to that. He's gotten some big hits for us this year," Kemp said. "He's always ready to hit, and tonight he got the big hit. It was a battle today. It was a battle of the pitchers — two good pitchers going at it, and we had to wait out Wainwright."