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Not even Kershaw can stop the slide as Cards hand Dodgers fifth consecutive loss

April 16, 2011 | 10:33 pm

Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw tries to work out of a jam against the Cardinals in the second inning Saturday night. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images

Fifteen games into the new season, and there is little about the Dodgers that threatens to become dependable. At least not in a positive kind of way.

Even Clayton Kershaw -- the young, dynamic left-hander with electric stuff -- is not quite ready to be filed under reliable. Did we mention young?

The Cardinals on Saturday treated Kershaw pretty much like they treat all Dodgers pitchers, chasing him in the fifth inning on the way to an easy 9-2 victory before another small Dodger Stadium crowd, this one 31,614.

It was the Dodgers’ fifth consecutive loss and it dropped them to 6-9.

After a 1-2-3 first inning, Kershaw labored the rest of the night, the strike zone seemingly an unsolvable mystery.

The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out in the second, before Kershaw was able to pitch out of trouble. They loaded the bases with one out again in the third, and pushed one run across. They scored one more in the fourth after Kershaw walked the opposing pitcher, Kyle McClellan.

Through the first three innings, Kershaw had already thrown 80 pitches; McClellan had thrown 40.

Kershaw (2-2) finally came undone in the fifth, surrendering a three-run homer to Allan Craig. He left the game having thrown 111 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, 66 for balls. He walked five and struck out five. He had walked only four in his first three starts.

The Dodgers are a team built around pitching, but during their five-game losing streak they’ve given up 38 runs.

The Cardinals have scored 29 runs on 48 hits in winning the first three games of this four-game series.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw tries to work out of a jam against the Cardinals in the second inning Saturday night. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images

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