Despite their recent struggles, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still within striking distance of a wild card spot.
The Dodgers are two games off the pace for the final playoff berth in the National League and will continue their four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals Friday from Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers dropped the opener, 2-1, on Thursday after Allen Craig stroked the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh.
Paco Rodriguez served up the hit and was dealt the loss, while Los Angeles starter Josh Beckett struck out six and gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings.
Adrian Gonzalez had a first-inning RBI double for the Dodgers, losers of four in a row and seven of eight.
"I still feel we're going to win," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We have to keep working hard. We're trying not to press."
Los Angeles has scored a total of three runs during its four-game slide.
Taking the hill for L.A. tonight will be Chris Capuano. Capuano is 0-2 in his last five starts and 1-5 over his previous six decisions. He did not factor in the outcome of a 3-2 win at San Francisco on Saturday, as he gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings.
Capuano, a left-hander, is 11-10 with a 3.59 earned run average in 29 starts. He was pounded by St. Louis in a 7-4 loss on July 26, when he permitted six runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. Capuano is 5-6 with a 5.70 ERA in 16 career matchups, 15 of which have been starts, with the Cardinals.
St. Louis is ahead of the Dodgers in the wild card standings and got the big hit from Craig in the seventh inning.
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn allowed one run on five hits over six innings to earn the win in his first start since Aug. 24. The righty walked two and struck out seven.
"I'm a pitcher," Lynn said. "I'm just trying to help the team. I'm trying to keep it simple. This was a big win for us."
Jason Motte closed the door in the ninth for his 34th save.
Yadier Molina recorded three hits and a run scored and Skip Schumaker finished with two hits and an RBI for St. Louis, which had dropped three in a row and six of seven games.
St. Louis rookie Joe Kelly gets the call tonight and is 5-6 with a 3.51 earned run average in 17 games (15 starts). Kelly did not record a decision in Sunday's 5-4 win over Milwaukee and held the visitors to two runs in six innings. Kelly is 3-1 in his past four decisions.
Kelly, a right-hander, faced the Dodgers for the first time in his career in a 5-3 loss back on July 23, when he gave up three runs -- two earned -- and four hits in six innings.
The Cardinals and Dodgers have split eight matchups this season. St. Louis has won the last four meetings between the clubs.