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Cardinals Vs. Dodgers Final Score: St. Louis Wins First Game of Pivotal Series 2-1

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 Thursday night, taking the first game of a crucial four-game series. The Dodgers scored the first run of the game when an Adrian Gonzalez double scored Mark Ellis in the bottom of the first inning. St. Louis tied the score in the second, when a Skip Schumaker single plated Yadier Molina. The Cardinals took the lead in the seventh on an Allen Craig RBI single to right. The St. Louis bullpen was able to hold the lead from there.

St. Louis starter Lance Lynn was spectacular, throwing 6 innings and giving up just one run on 5 hits while striking out 7. The win improved Lynn's record to 15-7 on the season. The Cardinal bullpen was equally excellent, contributing 3 innings and allowing just one hit. In fact, after the Gonzalez RBI double in the first, just one Dodger hitter managed to reach second base. Jason Motte picked up his 34th save of the season.

Los Angeles reliever Steven Rodriguez took the loss after giving up the game-winning run. Dodger starter Josh Beckett threw 5 1/3 innings, scattering 7 hits and conceding one run.

The win improves the Cardinals' lead over Los Angeles for the second wild card spot to 2 games.

For more coverage of the Cardinals, head over to Viva El Birdos, and for Dodgers news and updates, check out True Blue LA. For all your St. Louis sports news, stay updated at SB Nation St. Louis. Head over to Baseball Nation for more on MLB and check out SB Nation's YouTube channel: