Unbeaten Wacha seeks to extend Dodgers' road woes

(SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals will try to keep up their unbeaten streak with the right-hander on the mound as he gets the call on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wacha is 7-0 with a 1.87 earned run average this season and the Cardinals are 9-0 over his nine starts. The 23-year-old allowed two earned runs or fewer for the eighth time this season in Sunday's 6-1 victory in Kansas City as he scattered one unearned run, five hits and two walks over seven innings.

"It's those guys that are putting up runs and playing great defense behind me," said Wacha. "It's not just all me."

The young Wacha has never faced the Dodgers in the regular season, but beat them twice in the 2013 National League Championship Series, giving up just seven hits and striking out 13 over a combined 13 2/3 scoreless innings. He was selected the MVP of that series.

The Dodgers hope that Carlos Frias can move past a horrendous outing tonight against the tough Cardinals.

Frias went into a start against San Diego last Sunday with a 3-1 record and 2.55 ERA through seven games (5 starts), but was blasted in an 11-3 loss for 10 runs, 12 hits and two walks over just four innings. He didn't strike out a batter and saw his ERA jump to 5.34.

"Carlos threw a lot of balls over the middle of the plate," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "It looked like he had trouble throwing strikes with his fastball. Today he couldn't recover."

The 25-year-old righty had allowed only seven runs on the season up to that point -- including one over six innings of a tough-luck loss to San Francisco on May 19 -- and will try to do better in his first career appearance against the Cardinals.

Frias may not be able to count on much run support in the second contest of this set against the hosting Cardinals. Los Angeles dropped last night's opener 3-0, the fourth straight time it has been shut out on the road.

The Dodgers have not scored a run on the road in 37 straight innings and their second consecutive loss last night dropped them a half-game back of the San Francisco Giants for first place in the NL West.

Mike Bolsinger allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings to take the first loss of his career.

"A team might beat me, but I'm never going to let a team beat me down," Bolsinger said.

Both Mattingly and catcher A.J. Ellis were ejected from the game by home plate umpire Mike Winters. Mattingly was tossed in the top of the seventh, while Ellis got the boot in the bottom of the frame.

Ellis may not get the start tonight as Yasmani Grandal is expected to be activated off the seven-day concussion disabled list. The switch-hitter is batting .291 with four homers and 17 RBI this season.

The Cardinals got seven scoreless innings from John Lackey in last night's win as he scattered five hits and struck out nine. Jhonny Peralta and Randal Grichuk supported their starter by driving in a run each.

"He really had nice control of the fastball," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Lackey. "Another good, consistent outing."

St. Louis earned a fifth straight win and is off to its best home start in franchise history at 19-5.

Matt Holliday did not play on Friday due to flu-like symptoms and is day-to- day. He set a franchise and NL record on Wednesday by reaching base in his 43rd straight game to begin the season.

Los Angeles had won six of its past nine regular-season meetings with St. Louis coming into this series, but the Cardinals have bested the Dodgers in the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons. They beat the Dodgers in the 2013 NL Championship Series before topping them in last year's NL Divisional Series.