x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Dodgers finally lose three in row

The Los Angeles Dodgers slump to a third successive loss for the first time this season, thumped 10-0 by the St Louis Cardinals.

The Los Angeles Dodgers slumped to a third successive loss for the first time this season, thumped 10-0 by the St Louis Cardinals in Tuesday's clash of National League divisional leaders. The St Louis pitcher Adam Wainwright went eight scoreless innings, striking out five and issuing just one walk. By contrast, LA starter Chad Billingsley conceded six runs in the sixth. The Dodgers had gone 99 games without losing three in a row, breaking a franchise record dating back to 1965.

In Miami, pinch-hitter Ross Gload hit a two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth to lift Florida to a 4-3 win over Atlanta. The win moved the Marlins a game ahead of the Braves in the fight for second place in the NL East. Meanwhile Houston overcame an injury to pitcher Roy Oswalt to beat the Chicago Cubs in an 11-6 Wrigley Field slugfest. Oswalt left the game in the second inning with a strained lower back.

The Astros' Geoff Blum hit a tie-breaking homer in the seventh and Miguel Tejada also connected and had a season-high five RBIs. The result was a turnaround of form for both sides: the Astros had lost three in a row while the Cubs were coming off five consecutive wins. The loss also saw Chicago slip half a game behind St Louis for leadership of the NL Central. The New York Mets continued their improvement, winning a fourth successive game by shutting down Colorado 4-0.

Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey again flustered the Rockies, running his scoreless innings streak against them to 20. Pelfrey got into bases-loaded jams in the fourth and sixth innings, but escaped both times. New York are on their longest winning run for two months, and just hanging in contention for the wild-card. * AP