- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - For the second time in six days, Brett Anderson was barely outpitched by Carlos Martinez in a low-scoring duel.

Anderson held St. Louis to a pair of harmless singles over the first seven innings before the Cardinals scratched across two runs in the eighth with the help of two infield hits. That was enough to hand Anderson and the Los Angeles Dodgers a 2-1 loss Friday night.

“I’m just giving us a chance with quality starts,” Anderson said. “I did a good job until the eighth. There were some kind of fluky plays there. We expect these games to be close and competitive. So far they have been, we just haven’t been on the right side. We’re getting some bad breaks, but I’ll continue to go out every five, six days and give us a chance.”

Yadier Molina drew a leadoff walk in the eighth, Jason Heyward followed with an infield hit up the middle and Tony Cruz advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt while batting for Martinez.

Kolten Wong was credited with a tying RBI single when Anderson (2-4) failed to cover first base on a grounder to Adrian Gonzalez wide of the bag. Matt Carpenter drove in Heyward with a sacrifice fly on Anderson’s 88th and final pitch.

“Deception is his game, and he doesn’t give in,” Heyward said. “He did a really good job of making his pitches in the zone when he needed to and kept us off balance. Both guys were on their game tonight.”

Trevor Rosenthal, the fourth St. Louis pitcher, got three outs for his 18th save in 19 attempts to secure the Cardinals’ fourth straight win and 10th in 12 games.

Martinez (6-2) allowed his only run in the second on a bases-loaded walk to power-hitting rookie Joc Pederson. The right-hander gave up three hits and had a career-high 11 strikeouts in seven innings while helping the Cardinals lower their major league-best ERA to 2.57.

“Carlos kept us in the game the whole way, and that’s huge,” Heyward said. “Our pitching has been awesome for us. And when your pitcher’s throwing well, you feel like you can come back and win.”

Last Sunday, Martinez held the Dodgers to one hit over seven innings and struck out eight in a 3-1 victory over Anderson, which followed an emotional pregame tribute to Martinez’s late teammate and best friend Oscar Taveras, who was killed in a car accident in October.

“He’s a great pitcher,” Pederson said. “He’s got good velocity and good off-speed pitches that he located well. You’ve got to be patient, waiting for your pitch and put a good swing on it, but we didn’t swing the bats.”

Martinez, who hadn’t allowed a run in his previous three starts spanning 20 1-3 innings, gave up two walks and two singles in the second when the Dodgers scored their run. After the walk to Pederson, Martinez minimized the damage by retiring Jimmy Rollins on a double-play grounder - two pitches after getting a visit from pitching coach Derek Lilliquist.

The Dodgers did not get another baserunner until Gonzalez drew a leadoff walk in the sixth. Martinez struck out the next three batters.

“The second inning was a little bit of a mess that could have turned out really bad, but he made some good pitches. That was really the only inning that he had any kind of hiccups,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “It was just another really good outing for him, and quite a test.”

NEW ADDITION

Scott Schebler, promoted earlier in the day from Triple-A Oklahoma City, started in left field for the Dodgers and went 1 for 3 in his major league debut - including an opposite-field single to left his first time up.

Schebler was a 26th-round draft pick in 2012 and was selected the organization’s minor league player of the year in 2013 after batting .296 with 27 homers and 91 RBIs for Class A Rancho Cucamonga. Relief pitcher Daniel Coulombe was optioned to Oklahoma City to open a roster spot.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: 2B Howie Kendrick missed his second straight game because of a sprained right knee. … RHP Pedro Baez, who hasn’t pitched since May 13 because of a strain in his right pectoral muscle, threw off a mound for the first time and didn’t experience any pain. … RHP Brandon League (shoulder impingement) and RHP Brandon Beachy (elbow surgery) are still in the bullpen-session stage. Neither has been scheduled for a minor league rehab assignment.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (1-2) will make his fourth start of the season after missing the first 40 games while recovering from thoracic outlet surgery.

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (4-3) lost to St. Louis in the final game of the 2013 NL Championship Series and the final game of the 2014 Division Series. During the regular season, the reigning NL MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner is 5-5 with a 3.46 ERA in 14 starts against the Cardinals.

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