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ST. LOUIS (AP) – Juan Rivera homered and knocked in three runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers scored an early knockout of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second straight day, completing their first road sweep of the season with a 9-4 victory on Wednesday.
The Cardinals were outscored 24-7 in the Dodgers’ first three-game sweep in St. Louis since Aug. 20-22, 1993, and have dropped seven of nine overall. They failed to take advantage of a rare loss by NL Central-leading Milwaukee, remaining 10 games back with 32 to go.
Hiroki Kuroda (10-14) worked seven solid innings and A.J. Ellis hit his first career homer off of Jaime Garcia (10-7) to give the Dodgers a two-day total of six long balls. Matt Kemp had two singles and two RBIs and James Loney had three hits with a pair of doubles and an RBI.
The Cardinals trailed 6-0 before Garcia got his first at-bat leading off the third and a day earlier it was 7-0 before Kyle Lohse struck out for the final out of the second.
St. Louis was 1 games behind the Brewers after acquiring Edwin Jackson and Rafael Frucal at the trade deadline, but is 10-13 since while the Brewers have gone 24-5. Gerald Laird hit his first National League homer, a two-run drive in the seventh and Skip Schumaker had four hits and an RBI for St. Louis.
Eight straight Dodgers reached safely to start a six-run third that matched their season best and put them up 6-1. The rally was kicked off by a pair of walks followed by by six straight hits that produced at least one RBI.
Garcia, who had been 6-3 with a 2.06 ERA at home, finally recorded his first out of the inning on Kuroda’s sacrifice and gave up seven runs in five innings. He’s 0-3 in his last six starts and has lasted just five innings four of the last five outings.
Kuroda has won four of his last five starts and is 3-2 with a 2.11 ERA in six day starts. The right-hander allowed three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
The Dodgers finished 4-3 against the Cardinals for their first series win since 2003 without an RBI from Andre Ethier, who got a day off Wednesday, and took the lead in the all-time series at 1,002-1,001.
Schumaker has five straight hits, all singles, after pitching the ninth in a 13-2 shellacking Tuesday night.
NOTES: The Dodgers are off Thursday, then play 24 straight days beginning with a six-game homestand against the Rockies and Padres. Ted Lilly (7-13, 4.58) opposes Colorado’s Esmil Rogers (6-2, 6.00) on Friday night. … Edwin Jackson (9-9, 4.03) faces Charlie Morton (9-6, 3.42) as the Cardinals open a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night. … Rod Barajas’ 11th multihomer game Tuesday was the Dodgers’ first by a catcher since Russell Martin on Aug. 15, 2007 against the Astros. … Kuroda has eight consecutive quality starts, longest for the Dodgers since Randy Wolf also had eight in a row Aug. 11-Sept. 26, 2009.