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Cardinals lose Miller early, fall 13-4 to Dodgers

Thursday, August 8, 2013 | 7:12 a.m. CDT
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller reacts after being hit on his throwing arm by a line drive from the first batter in the game, Los Angeles Dodgers' Carl Crawford on Wednesday in St. Louis. Miller left the game. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee) EDWARDSVILLE OUT ALTON OUT

ST. LOUIS — Shelby Miller escaped with just a bad scare. The St. Louis Cardinals rookie plans on being ready to go again in five days with a bruised right elbow.

"It feels good. I mean, it doesn't feel good but it's better than it could be," the rookie said after the Los Angeles Dodgers punished his replacements in a 13-4 victory on Wednesday night.

"It got me right in between two major bones on my elbow, so I lucked out there. I feel like I'm not going to be out too long. I'm planning on my making my next start."

Leadoff man Carl Crawford's line-drive double knocked out Miller, but X-rays were negative for the 22-year-old right-hander on what the team described as an elbow contusion. He's among the league leaders with a 2.89 ERA while going 11-7 in 22 starts.

Miller pivoted after the pitch to Crawford with his back to the plate, but couldn't get his arm out of the way of the liner that bounded into shallow left field for a double. The elbow was numb at first.

"You always think about the worst things when something like that happens, especially when you've got the trainer trying to get you to grip stuff," Miller said. "You're just in shock."

By Thursday, Miller thought he'd just be sore.

"We've all agreed, it's a good chance that I'm not going to miss any time," Miller said.

Andre Ethier and Skip Schumaker each had three hits and a season-best four RBIs and Crawford had a season-best four hits and a walk. The Dodgers had 18 hits to top their previous best by one, a night after the Cardinals ended their franchise-record 15-game road winning streak, and are 16-3 since the All-Star break.

Schumaker and Jerry Hairston Jr. had two RBIs apiece in a six-run second off Jake Westbrook, the scheduled starter Thursday working on three days' rest.

"When they go out there, they know they've shot their next start," manager Mike Matheny said. "He was determined to stay in there as long as he could.

Cardinals third-string catcher Rob Johnson got the last out in the ninth in his second career pitching appearance, striking out Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez.

Ricky Nolasco (8-9) opened with four scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the fifth, all of them unearned because of the pitcher's wild throw to first for a three-base error.

Rookie Michael Blazek worked out of a bases-loaded jam to finish a scoreless first before the Dodgers took off, sending 10 batters against Westbrook (7-7) in the second.

Carlos Martinez, among the Cardinals top pitching prospects, was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to make his first career start Thursday night against the Dodgers and Hyun-Jin Ryu. The 21-year-old right-hander is 4-2 with a 1.76 ERA in the minors and made his major league debut earlier this year out of the bullpen, with a 5.56 ERA in 11 1-3 innings over 10 appearances.

The 35-year-old Westbrook made his first regular-season relief appearance since April 19, 2004, when he worked seven perfect innings for Cleveland against Detroit. In 4 2-3 innings he gave up nine runs on 13 hits.

"You want to come in and do what you can and help the team out," Westbrook said. "Three days rest is sufficient for most people.

"The bottom line is I didn't do that."

A Star Wars-themed night that featured graphically-enhanced images of Cardinals players on the video board, and storm troopers at home plate for the exchange of lineup cards fell flat with Matheny, who said he'd never seen any movies in the series.

"We weren't a movie-going family," said Matheny, who recalled a childhood minus cable TV, too, and days spent playing football, baseball and Wiffleball.


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