Bullpen steps up, extends scoreless streak

Bullpen steps up, extends scoreless streak

ST. LOUIS -- For the second consecutive day, the Dodgers' bullpen was asked to give the team extended innings. And once again, it was up to the task.

Pedro Baez, Sergio Romo, Chris Hatcher and Brandon Morrow each gave the Dodgers a scoreless inning of relief in their 5-1 victory over the Cardinals on Monday.

While the Dodgers' winning streak matched a season-high five games, the bullpen ran its scoreless-innings streak to 21 2/3 innings, dating back to the seventh inning of last Wednesday's game against the Cardinals in Los Angeles.

"Of course we can't expect them to keep throwing up zeros for the rest of the season," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "But it's just the preparedness, the confidence that these guys have, and they feed off one another, and starting with Kenley [Jansen], that's a close-knit group down there. They root for one another, they work their tails off and they're getting rewarded."

The Dodgers' bullpen lowered its National League-best ERA to 2.67. Los Angeles relievers also have 203 strikeouts.

On Sunday, Los Angeles' bullpen threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings, giving it 8 2/3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts, three hits allowed and one walk in the past two games.

Monday's starting pitcher Rich Hill isn't surprised by the bullpen's success.

"They're that good," Hill said. "That's something that when you have the guys with the resumes that they have that are coming out there and committing to the pitches and attacking the hitters, that's what you're going to get from those guys, and it's not really a surprise at all."

Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Louis who covered the Dodgers on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.