ST. LOUIS (AP) — Lance Lynn has been among the best first-half pitchers in the majors since cracking the St. Louis Cardinals' rotation in 2011, reaching double-figure win totals before the All-Star break all three seasons.
The Los Angeles Dodgers saw a pitcher determined to finish strong, too.
Lynn won his third straight start Friday night, leading the Cardinals to a 3-2 victory.
"I'm not worried about the rest of the season," Lynn said. "I'm just worried about my next start — whenever that may be."
Lynn is 33-15 with a 3.54 ERA before the All-Star break and 12-9 with a 3.91 ERA after the break. He's been among the pitchers getting the most run support, too.
Manager Mike Matheny repeated his assertion that Lynn (11-6) is "one of the most underrated pitchers in the game."
"Despite what anybody else thinks, he's got a lot of wins and there's a reason," Matheny said. "It's because he's got great stuff."
Matt Holliday homered and doubled with three RBIs in support of Lynn.
Kolten Wong had two hits and scored on both of Holliday's RBI hits for the Cardinals against the team they beat in the NLCS last fall. They have won six of eight and remained a game behind the Brewers for the NL Central lead.
"Really, I just kept my approach simple and tried to hit the ball hard back through the middle of the field," Holliday said. "I don't get ahead of myself. I've learned playing this long to take this thing day to day."
A.J. Ellis had an RBI double for the Dodgers, battling the Giants for the NL West lead. They remained offensively challenged coming out of the All-Star break, totaling 10 runs the last six games.
Holliday's seventh homer, estimated at 435 feet to straightaway center, came off Dan Haren (8-7).
Lynn gave up two runs on four hits in six-plus innings. He struck out nine and worked around four walks, which tied his season high.
Lynn has 44 wins the last three seasons, one behind Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright for most in the league. He bounced back from season worsts of two innings and six earned runs at Los Angeles on June 28 before leaving with a blister.
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