ST. LOUIS — The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ goal of turning the tables

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    • ST. LOUIS — The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ goal of turning the tables

      on the St. Louis Cardinals is well within reach heading into the third game of a four-game series on Saturday at Busch Stadium.Three weeks after the Cardinals rolled to a three-game sweep in Los Angeles Travis Shaw Jersey , the Dodgers are on the cusp of a third consecutive victory in St. Louis. A victory on Saturday won’t give the Dodgers a sweep, but it will give them the series with one more game in the matchup to play.After Clayton Kershaw pitched the Dodgers to a victory in the series opener on Thursday, Walker Buehler was even better with eight scoreless innings in a victory on Friday.Article continues below ...On Saturday, Rich Hill (8-5, 3.88 ERA) will be tasked with starting the Dodgers toward another victory over the Cardinals. More than his pitching of late, Hill has been known for getting huge amounts of run support.In three of Hill’s past four starts, the Dodgers scored at least nine runs. In two of those games, they scored 11 runs.Hill has not necessarily been sharp in his last four outings, posting a 4.50 ERA in 22 innings, but it has been plenty good enough with a windfall of offensive support.Dodgers manager Dave Roberts does not care if a victory is powered by the offense or by the pitchers at this point in the proceedings. He’ll take a victory by any means possible.“Every game right now is so important,” Roberts said, according to the Los Angeles Times.Hill is 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA in seven career appearances Paul Molitor Jersey , including six starts, against the Cardinals, but he has not faced them this season.As good as the Dodgers’ offense has been in recent Hill starts, though, it will be up against it facing Cardinals starter John Gant (7-5, 3.16).While Gant has been very good since moving permanently into the rotation on July 29 (2.83 ERA over 47 2/3 innings), he has been excellent since Aug. 8, going 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA over his last 39 1/3 innings. He did not face the Dodgers when the Cardinals were in Los Angeles.Gant is 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA in two career appearances against the Dodgers, and both were as a reliever in 2016.The Cardinals know that a victory over the Dodgers on Saturday will clinch the season series, an important tiebreaker if the teams finish with the same records as wild-card participants. But Cardinals manager Mike Shildt isn’t about to put more importance on a game against the Dodgers, when matchups with the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs still await.“We respect our opponent , but our opponent is ourselves,” Shildt said, according to “We play our game and prepare to play our game. We execute, and that’s how that works.”As good as it was for the Dodgers to see Kershaw and Buehler pitch well in the series, the most uplifting performance might have been from closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning Friday. The right-hander gave up two runs in Thursday’s victory, but with the game on the line a day later, he shut down the Cardinals and completed a 3-0 shutout for his 35th save.Jansen has been inconsistent since returning from the disabled list because of an irregular heartbeat. Since Aug. 20, he has a 6.55 ERA in his last 11 outings and was not with the team at Colorado last weekend. DETROIT (AP) Miguel Cabrera can now say it with a good deal of certainty: Baseball is harder than it looks on TV.”It’s so easy when you watch the game on TV. It’s so slow,” the Detroit slugger said. ”The game is so simple on TV.”It’s not nearly as simple on the field, of course, and right now all Cabrera can do is watch. The Tigers lost their star first baseman in the middle of June to a ruptured biceps tendon, and he’s out for the season. Detroit was in a rebuilding mode anyway Matt Garza Jersey , but losing one of the team’s top hitters was a significant blow.Cabrera was back at Comerica Park on Monday night to host an event supporting children’s health and youth baseball programs. He seemed to be feeling good, but he has a long way to go before playing again.”Right now it’s a little slow,” Cabrera said. ”Hopefully in a couple weeks I starting do more stuff, to be healthy again.”Cabrera said he goes back and forth between Michigan and Florida, and he thinks he’s making good progress toward being ready for spring training next year. The two-time American League MVP is 35 now, and this was supposed to be a crucial year for the veteran to show if he could still be one of the game’s most feared hitters after a poor showing in 2017.Instead, Cabrera has played only 38 games after never playing fewer than 119 in his previous decade with the Tigers.”Really hard, watch the games on TV. It’s really hard don’t be on the field with my teammates. It doesn’t matter if we win or lose. I want to be part of this process,” Cabrera said. ”Right now, I’m focused to be back next year and healthy.”Cabrera’s big contract extends through at least 2023, which means Detroit may have a hard time trading him as part of its rebuild. In 2016, he hit .316 with 38 home runs and 108 RBIs – his eighth straight year finishing in the AL’s top seven in batting average.Then last season , he hit .249 with only 16 homers and an unsightly .399 slugging percentage.There were some decent signs early this year. Cabrera hit .299 with a .395 on-base percentage. But he had only three home runs. He was hitting .323 when he went on the disabled list in early May with a hamstring strain . He came back June 1, but his bat was quiet from then until his season-ending injury June 12.Cabrera’s absence has left a big hole in the lineup, and Detroit has backup catcher John Hicks playing first base quite a bit in his place.Only six players have reached both 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, and with 465 homers and 2,676 hits, Cabrera still has a good chance to join that group if he can come back and play several more seasons. His pursuit of those milestones is on hold now, though. And Detroit fans can only wonder how effective he’ll be going forward.Cabrera was cheerful Monday night and quick with a laugh, but it’s clear that being out of action is tough for him.”I can’t describe what I’m feeling right now,” Cabrera said. ”I need to stay focused, mentally stay focusing on trying to be back healthy next year.”—