Molina, Goldschmidt power Cardinals past Dodgers 4-0

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals manager Mike Shildt praised Marcell Ozuna for his effort.

It definitely was a memorable performance.

Ozuna misplayed Kiké Hernández’s drive in the eighth inning, but Yadier Molina drove in three runs and Paul Goldschmidt homered to lead St. Louis to a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals already had a 4-0 lead when Hernández led off with a drive to left . Ozuna went back and climbed up the wall, but he misjudged the ball and tumbled onto the warning track as he tried to make the play.

Hernandez’s drive bounced over for a ground-rule double, but Mike Mayers and Andrew Miller managed to escape the threat.

After Ozuna fell, he stayed on the ground for a little while before getting back up.

“A for effort,” Shildt said with a smile. “He’s made a couple of plays like that where he’s actually caught it and robbed a homer. I think he read it off the bat as a ball that was going to go and obviously have a good chance to get out of the ballpark.

“He went back to give himself a chance to rob it and didn’t quite have the read on it. But I appreciate the effort.”

Ozuna called it part of the game.

“I was too aggressive,” he said.

Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts believed Hernández had a home run.

“I’ve watched some bloopers and I’ve seen them on the bloopers so he’s going to be on the bloopers for the next 10 years,” Roberts said. “I actually thought it was a homer off the bat and it kind of hung up there so apparently he did too. I think it got the track and I’m happy he’s not hurt. I guess we can laugh about it that he’s not hurt but it was a funky route.”

Six St. Louis pitchers combined for a seven-hitter. The Dodgers stranded 13 runners and struck out 10 times.

John Brebbia (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win.

Los Angeles dropped consecutive games for the first time this season. The Dodgers had won five in a row before stalling in St. Louis.

Molina, who began the day with a .175 batting average, put St. Louis in front with an RBI double against Ross Stripling (0-1) in the first. Paul DeJong hit a two-out double, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games, and Ozuna walked before Molina doubled to left.

Ozuna also scored, but he was sent back to third after the Dodgers challenged the play and it was ruled a ground-rule double.

Molina added a two-run double with two out in the third, and Goldschmidt made it 4-0 when he drove a 0-2 pitch into the stands in left in the fifth. It was his sixth homer of the season.

Dakota Hudson gave way to Brebbia with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. Brebbia fanned Hernandez on four pitches to end the inning.

DeJong also helped Hudson after the Dodgers put runners on first and second with one out in the third. Playing almost by second base on a shift, the shortstop stretched out and speared a line drive by Cody Bellinger. He got up and touched second to double up Joc Peterson.

“That saved a run right there,” DeJong said. “It felt good to get out of the inning right there.”

WORTH WATCHING

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pitched six innings of two-run ball in a rehab appearance for Double-A Tulsa. He struck out six and walked none while throwing 81 pitches.

The 31-year-old Kershaw developed inflammation in his left shoulder early in spring training. He is expected to rejoin Los Angeles’ rotation this weekend.

HIT MAN

St. Louis second baseman Kolten Wong was hit by a pitch for the first time this season. He has been plunked 55 times for his career.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left groin. RHP J.T. Chargois was recalled from the minors, and he got the last two outs of the seventh.

Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez is on schedule to throw his first bullpen session Friday. He went on the 10-day injured list March 25 for a right shoulder cuff strain.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (2-0, 3.09 ERA) makes his third start of the season. He pitched five innings of one-run ball in a 10-6 victory at Colorado on Friday.

Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (0-0, 3.86 ERA) is looking for his first win in his third start of the year. The 2014 first-round draft pick threw five scoreless innings against San Diego on Friday.