Buehler, Dodgers blank Cards to draw even in wild-card race

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday, Sept. 14

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday, Sept. 14

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig licks his bat during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, in S

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig licks his bat during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, in S

Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, right, is congratulated by teammate Manny Machado after hitting a home run during the first inning of a

Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, right, is congratulated by teammate Manny Machado after hitting a home run during the first inning of a

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig watches his second home run of the night leave the ballpark during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the St

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig watches his second home run of the night leave the ballpark during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the St

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, back right, rounds the bases after hitting a home run off of St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Tyler Webb, left, du

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, back right, rounds the bases after hitting a home run off of St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Tyler Webb, left, du

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, right, is tagged out at the plate by St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Dakota Hudson, while attempting to score on

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, right, is tagged out at the plate by St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Dakota Hudson, while attempting to score on

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, center, is tagged out at the plate by St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Dakota Hudson, as he attempted to score on

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, center, is tagged out at the plate by St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Dakota Hudson, as he attempted to score on

St. Louis Cardinals' Paul DeJong gets a base hit during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, in

St. Louis Cardinals' Paul DeJong gets a base hit during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, in

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Walker Buehler allowed two hits in eight innings, Yasiel Puig homered twice and the Los Angeles Dodgers drew even with the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL wild-card race with a 3-0 victory on Friday night.

Buehler (7-5) pitched beyond the seventh inning for the first time and earned his first victory since Aug. 17. He retired the first 13 batters before Paul DeJong singled to left field. Harrison Bader singled later in the fifth for the Cardinals' only other hit.

Buehler struck out nine and walked two. In two career starts against St. Louis, he has not allowed a run and has 18 strikeouts in 15 innings.

The Dodgers and Cardinals are tied for the second NL wild-card position, four games behind Milwaukee for the top spot. Los Angeles entered 1½ games behind first-place Colorado in the NL West.

Puig homered in the second off Jack Flaherty (8-7) and connected again in the ninth off Tyler Webb. It was his second multi-homer game of the season.

In the seventh, Cody Bellinger scored on a passed ball by Yadier Molina.

Kenley Jansen hit Yairo Munoz with a pitch to open the ninth but retired the next three batters to finish the two-hitter, earning his 35th save in 39 opportunities.

Flaherty worked six innings, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. He has 168 strikeouts this season, the fourth-best total for a rookie in franchise history.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Dodgers: Relievers John Axford and Tony Cingrani were scheduled to pitch in the California Championship Series for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday night. "They're stacking the deck, trying to help them make their playoff push," manager Dave Roberts joked. "They're supposed to go an inning each. We'll see how they come out of it. Our hope is to get these guys back." Axford could return to the majors after one appearance, while Cingrani (shoulder) would likely need more rehab work.

CARDINALS: IF Jedd Gyorko is likely to return to the starting lineup tomorrow, manager Mike Shildt said. He drew a pinch-hit walk in the 8th inning and was replaced by pinch-runner Adolis Garcia.

UP NEXT:

The Cardinals send right-hander John Gant (7-5, 3.16 ERA) to the mound Saturday afternoon to make his third career appearance and first start against Los Angeles. Veteran lefty Rich Hill (8-5, 3.88) starts for the Dodgers.

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