LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers were well aware that Lance Lynn was experiencing blister problems on his middle finger. And for two innings, they showed callous disregard for his fastball — the only pitch the St. Louis Cardinals' right-hander could throw without pain.
Andre Ethier and three of his Los Angeles teammates hit RBI doubles during a six-run second inning Saturday en route to a 9-1 victory, enabling Zack Greinke to become the third NL pitcher to reach double digits in wins.
"I think everyone could see that Lynn was just getting the fastball across," Ethier said. "And when a guy can only do that and isn't having any luck with anything else, I think it's a sign for a hitter to look for a straight heater, dead-red, and wait for that pitch over the plate."
Greinke (10-4) allowed a run and four hits over seven innings, struck out 10 and did not walk a batter as the Dodgers won for the 11th time in 15 games. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is 13-2 with a 1.98 ERA in 19 starts following a Dodgers loss since signing a $147 million, six-year contract in December 2012.
Lynn (8-6) lasted just two innings and was charged with seven runs, nine hits and two wild pitches. He is 2-4 with a 3.90 ERA in six starts since throwing his first professional shutout May 27 and beating the Mets 6-0 with a career-high 126 pitches.
"Honestly, I have blister problems every time I start, but I usually don't have them rip off like they did today," Lynn said. "I'm missing a lot of the top part of my finger — the whole tip, pretty much. I think it dried out, coming from Colorado, and it just ripped off. The wetter it got today, the more it kept going back. But that's a part of pitching. You try to get through those things, and I wasn't able to do that."
Los Angeles got an unearned run in the first after back-to-back infield hits by Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez, who returned to the lineup after missing four games with a sore right shoulder. Puig went to third on a fielder's choice grounder by Adrian Gonzalez and continued home when shortstop Daniel Descalso dropped the ball on the exchange from his glove to his right hand.
The Dodgers, who didn't get an extra-base hit in the first two games of this series, broke it open during Lynn's 45-pitch second inning with the doubles by Ethier, Justin Turner, A.J. Ellis and Dee Gordon. Gonzalez and Matt Kemp added two-out RBI singles.
"If I threw anything else but the fastball, it hurt. It was burning," Lynn said. "But I'm a fastball pitcher, anyway, and they were ready for it. I tried to throw some other pitches, but I just didn't have any feel with it."
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