ST. LOUIS — Facing the Cardinals on Tuesday night, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was well aware that St. Louis was the National League's best hitting club by more than one measure.
Yet, it was the Cardinals' pitcher, Adam Wainwright, who had two key at-bats that helped sink Kershaw and the Dodgers at Busch Stadium.
Wainwright hit a run-scoring double and drew a bases-loaded walk from Kershaw, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner and an All-Star, that produced another run and helped the Cardinals cruise, 8-2.
The victory ended the Dodgers' winning streak at five games and their winning streak against the Cardinals at eight games.
"If I get Adam Wainwright out today, I probably give up maybe one run the whole game, so it's just frustrating," Kershaw said.
Kershaw (7-6) took the mound with an impressive record at Busch Stadium, where the left-hander had been 2-1 with a 1.78 earned-run average.
And he was staked to a 2-0 lead with two out in the fifth inning, having surrendered only one hit, when the roof began caving.
Daniel Descalso singled and the 6-foot-7 Wainwright slugged a double to the gap in left-center field, driving in Descalso, then former Dodger Rafael Furcal singled home Wainwright to tie the score, 2-2.
Kershaw "was trying to throw a fastball in" to Wainwright "and he left it probably a little more over the plate than we wanted to," catcher Matt Treanor said.
Then in the sixth inning, after Kershaw gave up a run-scoring single to David Freese, the Cardinals had the bases loaded after the Dodgers intentionally walked Descalso to get to Wainwright.
But Kershaw walked Wainwright to force in a run, then gave up a single to Furcal that drove in two runs.
"It just looked like he was rushing," Treanor said of Kershaw, "and it seemed like nothing was going to go our way that inning."
Josh Lindblom replaced Kershaw and promptly gave up a two-run double to the Allen Craig. When the dust settled, Kershaw was charged with eight runs and seven hits in 52/3 innings, lifting his ERA to 3.14 from 2.74.
"I got behind a lot of guys" in the count "and got in trouble," Kershaw said.
The Dodgers scored their runs in the fourth inning when Andre Ethier walked, James Loney singled and Juan Rivera hit a ground-rule double that drove in Ethier.
Luis Cruz singled to drive in Loney. Cruz, called up this month, has driven in at least one run in each of the first five games of the Dodgers' current 10-game trip.
Cruz also has a club-leading nine runs batted in since the All-Star break.
Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman left in the second inning after being hit on the right knee by a Kershaw pitch. His condition wasn't immediately known.
Berkman injured the same knee May 19 while playing at Dodger Stadium and required surgery six days later. He came off the disabled list July 14.