LOS ANGELES -- If you have an evening free and you'd like to take in a magical pitching performance, you might want to swing by Dodger Stadium one of these nights. Lately, they have been a relatively common occurrence.
The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers were in town, Clayton Kershaw threw one of the most brilliant no-hitters in history against the Colorado Rockies. The mound stayed warm after a week's hiatus, with Josh Beckett and Adam Wainwright hooking up in a battle of wills Thursday, pitching scoreless baseball deep into the night before the Dodgers pulled out a 1-0 win.
How it happened: One of the most electric moments at Dodger Stadium this year came in the seventh inning, when Matt Kemp threw out Allen Craig at the plate as he tried to score from second on Jon Jay's single. That's how good Wainwright was. One run there might have been the end for the Dodgers.
Instead, they kept it scoreless and finally got to Wainwright in the eighth inning. The guys at the bottom of the order did the damage. Juan Uribe, Miguel Rojas and pinch hitter Justin Turner bunched singles to finally break the ice against Wainwright, who looks like a lock to start the All-Star Game for the National League.
The Dodgers didn't come up with their first hit off the Cardinals ace until the sixth inning, when Rojas lined a single into left field.
Beckett does it with a different array of weapons, but he nearly matched Wainwright's dominance. The only thing he couldn't match was his longevity. Beckett's night was over after the seventh inning, having thrown 107 pitches. He gave up four hits and two walks, and struck out four.
Hits: The way Beckett pitched -- and given the fact the Dodgers handed out 48,624 Brian Wilson bobblehead dolls -- it would have been a shame if the eighth inning had gone poorly, but Wilson breezed through it, striking out two batters. After a poor start, Wilson is looking a little more like the dominant setup man he had been in 2013. He has given up one run in his last 15⅔ innings.
Misses: Andre Ethier has been playing with a nasty blister on his right palm, something he dealt with for a while last year as well. Thursday he fouled a ball off the inside of his right knee. Those ailments probably aren't going to help him break out of this prolonged slump he has stumbled into. Since May 24, he's batting .194. At what point will Dodgers manager Don Mattingly start using Scott Van Slyke more frequently when the Dodgers are facing right-handed pitchers? We could find out soon.
Stat of the game: Wainwright has pitched seven games this season in which he went at least five innings and gave up no earned runs. Beckett also has done so seven times. They lead the National League.
Up next: The teams continue the four-game series Friday night at 7:10, with Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-3, 3.06 ERA) pitching for the Dodgers and converted reliever Carlos Martinez (1-3, 4.33) going for the Cardinals.