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Cardinals’ Lackey looking like an ace

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  • AP
    St. Louis Cardinals' Kolten Wong

ST. LOUIS >> John Lackey is pitching like an ace for a team that lost its top starter a month ago.

Lackey worked seven scoreless innings and the Cardinals got just enough against Mike Bolsinger to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 for their fifth straight victory on Friday night.

"We’re talking an elite-style pitcher for a long period of time," manager Mike Matheny said of Lackey. "As far as what we saw at the end of last year and how well he’s throwing right now, it’s just much better stuff."

The Cardinals ended Bolsinger’s streak of 182/3 consecutive scoreless innings on Randal Grichuk’s bases-loaded double-play ball in the first. Jhonny Peralta doubled twice with an RBI and Grichuk, starting in left field in place of ailing Matt Holliday, batted cleanup for the first time and had an RBI double.

Jimmy Rollins and Justin Turner had two hits apiece for the Dodgers, who have been shut out four straight times on the road — also getting outscored 10-0 in a three-game sweep at San Francisco on May 19-21. 

"I don’t know about a rut," manager Don Mattingly said. "I just look at this one and we didn’t do enough to win."

Lackey (3-3) struck out nine and allowed five hits, and the Dodgers got their lone runner in scoring position his final inning. Adrian Gonzalez and Turner singled to open the seventh but Lackey retired the next three in order with two strikeouts.

"They’ve got a good lineup, you’ve got to keep grinding and you can’t take anything for granted," Lackey said. "I just had to make some pitches to get out of that."

Lackey is 6-3 with a 1.76 ERA against the Dodgers and beat them in Game 3 of the NL division series last fall. He’s stepped up for a team that’s a major league-best 32-16, including 19-5 at home, without two-time 20-game winner Adam Wainwright.

Mattingly was ejected for the third time this season for arguing a called third strike with plate umpire Mike Winters on Andre Ethier for the first out of the seventh inning. Catcher A.J. Ellis struck out all three at-bats and was ejected for the first time of his career for arguing ball four to Matt Carpenter in the bottom half with J.P. Howell pitching.

Trevor Rosenthal earned his 14th save in 15 chances for St. Louis, which entered with a major league-best 2.76 ERA.

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