Postgame: Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2

The Cardinals beat the Dodgers 3-2 tonight at Dodger Stadium. For a full box and recap click here

THE BARE ESSENTIALS

* Albert Pujols and Rick Ankiel both hit home runs and Chris Carpenter allowed five hits in eight innings to win his eighth straight decision

* Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp both doubled for the only extra-base hits for the Dodgers.

* Charlie Haeger recorded his first career big-league quality start, allowing three runs in seven innings with two strikeouts in a losing effort.

* The Dodgers dropped a season-high fourth straight at home, their longest home losing streak since a four-game skid May 7-11, 2008.

ETC…ETC:

* The Dodgers fell to 23-23 at home since their record-setting 13-0 stretch to start the season.

* The Dodgers fell to 21-15 in one-run games, 17-5 at home.

* With Russell Martin’s eighth-inning throwing error, Los Angeles snapped its season-high streak of 85.2 consecutive errorless innings.

* Haeger became the 10th different Dodger pitcher to start a game this season, one behind last season’s total.

* With his first-inning single, Rafael Furcal reached base in a season-high 26 straight games dating to July 20. Furcal is batting .296 (34-for-115) with two homers and 11 RBI during that span.

ON DECK:

* In Game 2 of the three-game series the Dodgers send RHP Chad Billingsley (11-6, 3.73) vs. RHP Mitchell Boggs (1-1, 3.78) at 7:10 p.m.

Postgame: Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 3

The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks today 9-3. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

Randy Wolf was on his game today, pitching 7 2/3 strong innings and knocking three hits (including a home run and a double) while getting his seventh win.

The top of the lineup was quite productive for the Dodgers today — especially in the first inning, when Andre Ethier drove in Matt Kemp and Orlando Hudson to begin the game, putting the Dodgers at a 3-0 advantage before Arizona starter Yusmeiro Petit recorded an out.

Hiroki Kuroda is okay, amazingly. He wants to throw his bullpen tomorrow — that’s not likely to happen, but it looks like it could be a shorter timetable for his return than was originally thought.

ETC…ETC

More on Wolf: He ended up allowing three runs, all in the eighth, but that doesn’t speak to how masterful he was. He recorded 20 straight outs at one point and provided 3 RBI of his own. He also had a season-high 10 strikeouts.

Hitters 9-3 in the Dodgers lineup: 11-for-19. Hitters 4-8: 2-for-17, including an 0-fer from Manny Ramirez.

Arizona’s Mark Reynolds, who punished the Dodgers’ Jonathan Broxton with a home run in the ninth inning last night, went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts tonight.

ON DECK:

Chris Carpenter (12-3, 2.27) faces Charlie Haeger (making his Dodgers debut) in the first game of a crucial homestand for the Dodgers tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Postgame: Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 3 (10 innings)

The Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 4-3 tonight in 10 innings. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

The big story for the Dodgers tonight was what happened to starter Hiroki Kuroda. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Arizona pinch-hitter Rusty Ryal lined a 2-2 pitch right back at Kuroda’s right temple, and the 34-year-old righthander went down immediately. He did move, however, and CAT scans taken after the game at St. Joseph’s Hospital were negative.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers held a 3-1 lead into the ninth but closer Jonathan Broxton allowed back-to-back homers — only his third and fourth homers allowed of the season — to blow the save.

The Blue couldn’t put anything together offensively in the tenth, and the D’Backs came back with a perfectly executed bottom half of the inning off of Ramon Troncoso to get the win. Augie Ojeda singled, Dan Haren bunted him to second, and after two walks, Gerardo Parra hit a walk-off single.

ETC…ETC

The Dodgers took a 3-0 lead, but Ryal’s hit — ruled a ground-rule double — sparked the first run for the D’Backs. From there, the L.A. offense wasn’t the same, with only two hits.

Hong-Chih Kuo and George Sherrill both feasted on an Arizona lineup that was incredibly left-handed in scoreless seventh and eighth innings. The 1-7 hitters in the D’Backs order were lefties.

Offensively, Brad Ausmus had an RBI single in the second, Doug Davis threw a pick-off away in the fifth to score Rafael Furcal, and Mark Loretta hit a sac fly to bring in Casey Blake in the sixth inning.

Matt Kemp didn’t have a hit but still wreaked havoc on the basepaths, reaching base via walk in the tenth inning and stealing second and third.

ON DECK:

Randy Wolf (6-6, 3.43) tries to salvage a game for the Dodgers against Arizona’s Yusmeiro Petit (2-6, 5.87) tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Breaking: Hiroki Kuroda hit in the head by line drive

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Arizona pinch-hitter Rusty Ryal. Ryal, replacing D’Backs starter Doug Davis, hit a 2-2 pitch right back up the middle. Kuroda reacted violently to the ball and hardly moved while on the ground. Ryal appeared apologetic; among notable Dodger reactions included 21-year-old lefthander Clayton Kershaw, who looked legitimately shocked. Eventually, a car came to take Kuroda away and James McDonald replaced him. We’ll know more later.

Postgame: Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 1

The Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 4-1 tonight at Chase Field. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

Clayton Kershaw didn’t have one of his better outings, lasting only 4 1/3 innings while walking four and giving up six hits. He was charged with four runs, all of which came in the second inning.

The Dodgers were shut down by one of the better pitchers in baseball, as Arizona righthander Dan Haren went eight strong innings. The only run he allowed was a fifth-inning homer by Matt Kemp — Kemp’s 17th of the year.

Manny Ramirez went 3-for-4 batting fourth, but the 1-3 spots in the order — Rafael Furcal, Russell Martin, and Andre Ethier — were an alarming 0-for-10.

ETC…ETC

The Dodgers announced the signing of second-round pick Garrett Gould to a $900,000 bonus. Ken Gurnick has more on the 18-year-old from Kansas.

One good sign was the performance of the bullpen, which pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings once Kershaw exited. Ramon Troncoso, Ronald Belisario, and Guillermo Mota combined to allow only one baserunner in that time.

Haren also hit the Dodgers well, knocking an RBI single off Kershaw in the second and hitting Andre Ethier in the eighth in an apparent retaliation. Belisario had hit Arizona’ Mark Reynolds in the seventh.

A Rockies loss to Florida means the Dodgers stay five games in front of Colorado.

ON DECK:

Hiroki Kuroda (5-5, 4.21) and Doug Davis (7-10, 3.62) in game two in Arizona.