Cardinals 9, Dodgers 5
Solid in winning his first two starts of the season, Hiroki Kuroda crumbled quickly against St. Louis' powerful lineup. The rest of the Los Angeles Dodgers' staff couldn't stop the offensive onslaught, either.
They gave up a season-high 16 hits in losing 9-5 on Thursday night, the Dodgers' third consecutive loss.
Albert Pujols homered for the second time this season and Matt Holliday drove in three runs and scored twice for the Cardinals, who won for the fourth time in five games.
Kuroda (2-1) gave up a career high-tying 10 hits and six runs - five earned - in five innings, struck out three and walked none. His three wild pitches were a career high, the most for a Dodgers pitcher since Octavio Dotel had three last Aug. 18.
''He just didn't seem to be as sharp,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ''The last time he goes deep into that game, going for that shutout, so you allow him to go a little farther than you would normally like. That's the danger of leaving him in there. You don't know if tonight was a byproduct of that, but he wasn't as sharp.''
The Dodgers' second homestand of the season opened with a heavy security presence inside and outside the stadium, the result of a San Francisco Giants fan being severely beaten on opening day last month.
''If it makes it safer for fans, why not?'' Mattingly said before the game.
No one has been arrested despite the offer of more than $150,000 in reward money.
Hall of Fame broadcasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin appeared on the stadium's videoboard with English and Spanish messages before the game urging fans to have a good time but respect those around them.
Los Angeles police didn't immediately have a tally but reported a few citations issued before the game. Inside the stadium, the announced crowd of 34,288 was low-key and many fans streamed out after the seventh inning stretch with the Dodgers trailing by six runs. Owner Frank McCourt's box was deserted by the eighth.
Pujols sent a 3-2 pitch from Kuroda into the lower left-field seats with one out in the fifth, extending the Cardinals' lead to 5-3. The slugger has gotten off to a slow start this season and was 7 for 28 on the road trip before homering.
''They obviously have a great lineup with great hitters, but you still have to pitch aggressively to them,'' Kuroda said through a translator. ''So it was a real learning experience, and hopefully I'll get them next time.''
Kuroda said he fell out of sync when Holliday doubled in the second.
''It was a split-finger fastball, but I just couldn't find the right grip,'' he said.
Jaime Garcia (2-0) allowed three runs - two earned - and five hits in five innings, struck out two and walked two. The left-hander had only allowed one run in his two previous starts.
Holliday hit a two-run double in the seventh and had an RBI single in the third a night after going hitless for the first time this season. Every position player in the Cardinals' lineup had at least one hit as they won their second in a row.
Matt Kemp had two RBIs and three hits, including a homer in the ninth, and Jamey Carroll had three hits for the Dodgers, who also scored on a passed ball by Yadier Molina in the fourth.
NOTES: The Dodgers optioned LF Jamie Hoffmann to Triple-A Albuquerque after the game. ... Dodgers RF Andre Ethier singled in the first, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, tied for longest in the majors this season with Jose Reyes of the Mets. ... The Cardinals won at Dodger Stadium after going winless three times here last season. ... NBA Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Sharman, who played in the minors with the Dodgers in the 1950s, tossed out first pitches. ... Former Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda and his wife, Jo, celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary at the game.