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Originally published Friday, May 24, 2013 at 11:46 PM

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Dodgers open homestand with 7-0 loss to Cardinals

The Dodgers returned home and lost for the fifth time in seven games, with sluggers Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier going hitless in a combined six at-bats.

AP Sports Writer

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The Dodgers returned home and lost for the fifth time in seven games, with sluggers Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier going hitless in a combined six at-bats.

A few hours after team president Stan Kasten said Don Mattingly wasn't in immediate danger of being fired, the Dodgers did nothing to support their manager who has faced intense speculation this week about his job status.

Lance Lynn limited the Dodgers to two hits over six innings, and David Freese and Allen Craig each homered and drove in three runs, helping the St. Louis Cardinals win 7-0 on Friday night.

"It's really not the way you envision coming back home and getting the home stand started," Mattingly said. "They scored early, we basically didn't have a lot of chances to score, and they just kept adding on."

Kemp struck out twice. Ethier returned to the starting lineup after being benched by Mattingly three times in six games on the team's road trip to Atlanta and Milwaukee.

Chris Capuano (1-3) allowed a season-high six runs - five earned - and six hits in five-plus innings. The left-hander struck out four and walked three. He had allowed just two combined runs in 13 2-3 innings in his previous two starts.

"For a stretch of a few pitches, I'd be real spot-on with location, and then I'd kind of fly open and yank a few and miss my spots," Capuano said. "I just didn't make enough good pitches. I still feel like if I'm making my pitches, like I did the last two starts, I don't care who I'm facing. I'll get them out. Maybe your margin for error is a little bit less to some of those guys."

Lynn (7-1) struck out nine and walked one for the NL Central leaders. The only hits he gave up were a single to Carl Crawford to open the game and a double to Juan Uribe in the third.

Freese's two-run homer into the Dodgers' bullpen in left field extended the Cardinals' lead to 6-0 in the sixth. His RBI double in the second drove in Jon Jay with their first run. Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis went down for a few minutes after Jay collided with him, but stayed in the game.

"It was a good, clean baseball play," said Ellis, who was quizzed by the team's trainer as she made sure he felt well enough to continue.

"The only thing I felt and still feel now - watch the replay - I think his knee made contact with my forearm," he said. "I got a pretty good bruise on my right forearm. Other than that, just the normal stiffness from postgame."

Craig homered with two outs in the fifth after his two-run double in the third made it 3-0.

St. Louis tacked on another run in the seventh when reliever Matt Guerrier gave up consecutive walks to Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday to open the inning. He then hit Craig to load the bases before Yadier Molina's sacrifice fly scored Beltran.

Notes: The Dodgers were shut out for the fourth time this season and the first since losing 1-0 to Arizona on April 14. ... The Cardinals improved to 17-8 on the road, the most wins away from home in the majors this season. ... Mattingly said SS Hanley Ramirez, on the DL with a strained left hamstring, will play four or five rehab games. "I don't think he's quite as close as it looks," the manager said. ... Dodgers OF Jerry Hairston Jr., on the DL with a strained left groin, is set to play six innings for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday.



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