Gordon followed with a bloop single to left, but Yasiel Puig grounded into a double play. Puig, the NL player of the month for May, is batting .242 with no homers, six RBIs and 25 strikeouts in 25 games since his last home run on May 28 against Cincinnati's Homer Bailey at Dodger Stadium.
Craig hit a two-out double in the seventh, just beyond Puig's reach on the right-field warning track, then tried to score on Jon Jay's sharp single to left. Kemp charged the ball and threw a perfect strike to Butera in front of the plate for a sweep tag as Beckett thrust both arms over his head in jubilation.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny challenged the call by umpire Vic Carapazza, 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."
NOTES: Cardinals RHP Joe Kelly, on the DL with a left hamstring strain that's sidelined him for 66 games, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Memphis. ... Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez missed his third straight game with a sore right shoulder and had an MRI. ... The Dodgers' flight from Kansas City didn't arrive in Los Angeles until about 2 a.m. following their 5-4 win over the Royals, and manager Don Mattingly called off batting practice. ... The Cardinals began a five-game stretch in which they will face all three pitchers who have thrown no-hitters this season, including Kershaw on Sunday and San Francisco's Tim Lincecum on Tuesday. ... The Dodgers were 20-14 in Uribe's absence. ... Adrian Gonzalez's RBI streak ended at seven games, one shy of the L.A. Dodgers record shared by Puig, Tommy Davis, Reggie Smith, Adrian Beltre and Shawn Green.