Sunday was a strange day at Dodger Stadium.

Clayton Kershaw got plenty of run support and lost. The St. Louis Cardinals issued two intentional walks with the score close late in the game and got away with it. Matt Kemp pinch hit in the eighth inning and the at-bat was entirely forgettable.

Strange in a normal year, maybe.

This year the Dodgers have been abnormally abysmal batting with runners in scoring position, where their .226 average is better than only five major-league teams. That figure dropped to a league-worst .203 if you exclude Adrian Gonzalez, who was the lone stabilizing force as the Dodgers dropped two of three games to the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend, including Sunday's 5-3 loss.

"We had our chances," Mattingly said. "You want to continue to get traffic and give yourselves as many chances to drive in runs as you can."

But in critical moments Sunday, the Dodgers were missing the "fight" Mattingly implored from his team in an impassioned pregame interview earlier in the week.

On the verge of a four-game Freeway Series against the Angels, the Dodgers have lost six of their last nine.

The Dodgers (20-27) were not a feeble obstacle in the path of the Cardinals (31-17), whose 18-9 road record is the best in baseball. In a game of bumps, bruises and bloop hits Sunday, they simply were out-blooped.