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7:10 PM PT8:10 PM MT9:10 PM CT10:10 PM ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 PM MST9:10 PM EST9:40 PM VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 PM CT, August 21, 2018
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California  Attendance: 43,923

Poncedeleon gets start for Cardinals at Dodgers

According to STATS
According to STATS

St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers

  1. Since the All-Star break, the Cardinals have the best record in the National League (20-11, .645). They have 16 more hits than any other team in the NL over that span (Cards, 286; D'backs, 270), and only the Mets (159) have scored more runs than the Cardinals (156) in the NL since the midsummer classic.
  2. In the month of August, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner are combining for a .435/.515/.704 slash line; the rest of the Dodgers lineup is slashing .218/.296/.418. Bellinger and Turner each have 25 hits, with no other Dodger having more than 17 (Machado).
  3. Before pinch-hitting in yesterday's game, Jose Martinez was on a nine-game hitting streak in which he slashed .485/.528/.636. Martinez joins two Dodgers, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner, as the only players in MLB hitting at least .400 with at least 10 runs driven in this month.
  4. The Dodgers took two of three games in their last series against the Mariners, outscoring the M's 27-7 in those three. Since the All-Star break, they have not won a home series, having lost two of three in Dodger Stadium to both the Giants and Astros, and splitting a four-game set with the Brewers.
  5. Austin Gomber has won two straight starts, throwing 11.0 combined shutout innings while holding opponents to a .171 batting average. Freddy Peralta (1.59) and Joey Lucchesi (1.66) are the only two NL pitchers to debut this season and post a lower ERA than Gomber's 2.53 mark through four starts.
  6. Since the All-Star break, Alex Wood has a 1.59 ERA and .163 BAA in four starts; his BAA ranks second in the NL over that span (min. four starts). Wood has made 11 straight starts allowing three or fewer earned runs; his streak ranks fifth in MLB, behind deGrom, Stanek, Taillon and Kershaw (min. one 2018 start).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 8/20/2018 thru 8/22/2018

LOS ANGELES -- Almost a month removed from his magical major league debut, Daniel Poncedeleon will return to the St. Louis Cardinals' rotation, with an outing in his native Southern California.

The right-hander will face the Los Angeles Dodgers and will no doubt be brimming with confidence. His only other big league start came July 23 at Cincinnati, when the right-hander delivered seven no-hit innings before he was removed after throwing 116 pitches.

The Cardinals ultimately lost that game 2-1, but gained a winner in Poncedeleon, who was born in nearby Anaheim and went to high school in La Mirada. Moved to the Cardinals' bullpen after his inspiring debut, St. Louis has won every game Poncedelon has appeared in since, keeping the legend of the 26-year old alive and well.

Perhaps the most impressive part of his debut was that it came 14 months after undergoing emergency surgery to stop bleeding in his brain after he was hit by a line drive in a Triple-A game.

"I don't know if words can describe it," Cardinals interim manager Mike Shildt said, according to "You talk about magical, with what he's dealt with, what he's come back from. Making his MLB debut, throwing seven innings without giving up a hit, that's what's magical about this game and special about this game."

Poncedeleon will pitch opposite Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is working on his own story of resilience. Injured often over the past four seasons, with a bevy of maladies, Ryu was out for another 3 1/2 months this year with a left groin strain.

He finally returned to the Dodgers' rotation Wednesday and gave up three hits over six scoreless innings in a Los Angeles victory that allowed the Dodgers to avoid a three-game sweep by the rival San Francisco Giants.

"I've said it before, that you win with starting pitching," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Our starters have been lights out, they really have. And to get (Ryu) back, the way he's throwing the baseball, that's a huge boost for our club."

In four career appearances against the Cardinals (three starts), Ryu has a solid 1.50 ERA over 24 innings.

Another huge boost for the Dodgers is the return of Kenley Jansen from an irregular heartbeat. The right-hander went on the disabled list Aug. 10 and was cleared to return Monday after going on blood thinning medication. But he ended up taking the loss Monday when he gave up two ninth-inning home runs to the Cardinals.

The Dodgers will need all the pitching they can get against a Cardinals' offense that has hit a home run in 13 consecutive games, the longest current active streak in baseball. The Philadelphia Phillies had the longest streak this year at 16 games.

The Cardinals are not only 22-11 under interim manager Mike Shildt, they are 15-4 in August, the best record in the National League over the month.

The Dodgers moved into a tie for first place with a victory Aug. 1, but are 8-10 in the month and have fallen to third place, 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks and two back of the Colorado Rockies.

Updated August 21, 2018

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