Pujols hits second home run of season
The runs just keep on coming for St. Louis.
Powered by Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday, the Cardinals' offense feasted on the Los Angeles Dodgers' pitching in a 9-5 victory on Thursday night.
St. Louis won for the fourth time in five games, and is averaging more than nine runs in that stretch.
''We made some good contact and got some timely hits,'' manager Tony La Russa said. ''We're just having good at-bats. Once you have a little success, you get more confidence.''
Pujols homered for the second time this season and Holliday drove in three runs and scored twice to continue his dominance against the Dodgers. He's batting .345 in 92 career games against them, while his 70 runs in 84 games against the Dodgers since 2005 leads the major leagues.
''We've swung the bats really well the last four, five games,'' Holliday said. ''My timing was off in Arizona, but I felt better tonight.''
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?'' Dodgers manager Don 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.
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.
''I didn't have my best stuff, but I was battling and tried to stay in as long as I could and give my team a chance to win,'' he said. ''My best two innings were my last two, I was settling in. Maybe I wasn't able to lock it in mentally.''
Hiroki 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 in the Dodgers' third straight loss. His three wild pitches were a career high.
''They obviously have a great lineup with great hitters, but you still have to pitch aggressively to them,'' he said through a translator. ''So it was a real learning experience, and hopefully I'll get them next time.''
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.
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.
''With a club like that, you know they're going to score, so it was just a matter of time for them,'' Mattingly said. ''You don't want to catch them at that time, but if we do, we've got to find a way to shut them down and keep them down and put some runs up ourselves.''
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: 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.