LOS ANGELES (AP) — Matt Carpenter homered for the fifth time in eight games, Yadier Molina had a tiebreaking two-run double in the top of the seventh inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 on Sunday night to avoid being swept in the three-game series.
Molina pinch hit for starting pitcher Mike Leake and put the Cardinals up 3-1 when he lined reliever Joe Blanton’s pitch into the left field corner with two outs. Stephen Piscotty followed with an RBI single off Blanton two batters later.
Leake (2-3) pitched six innings to win his second straight start, and Trevor Rosenthal got his seventh save.
Corey Seager homered twice for the Dodgers, the first multihomer game of his career.
J.P. Howell (1-1) took the loss after allowing a one-out single to Jeremy Hazelbaker, who scored on Molina’s double.
Carpenter opened the scoring with a two-out solo home run to right in the top of the third, but Seager responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-out solo homer of his own down the left field line.
It stayed tied until Blanton intentionally walked Brandon Moss with Molina on deck in the seventh. Molina made the Dodgers pay for that decision, turning on a 1-0 slider to bring Hazelbaker and Moss home.
After Carpenter was intentionally walked, Piscotty added to the lead with an RBI single to left to make it 4-1 and extend his hitting streak to eight games.
The Cardinals added another run off Blanton in the eighth when Randal Grichuk led off with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and trotted home on Aledmys Diaz’s sacrifice fly.
Seager launched his second solo homer of the night off Kevin Siegrist in the eighth.
Molina’s big hit gave Leake the win after he went six innings and gave up four hits and one run for his second-straight quality start.
Alex Wood surrendered only three hits and one run in six innings but took a no-decision and remains winless in his last six starts for the Dodgers.
Cardinals: SS Jhonny Peralta (torn thumb ligament) continued swinging a bat and is expected to participate in his first full batting practice this week.
Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder surgery) pitched two scoreless innings in a rehab start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga. He allowed one hit and struck out two in his first appearance since Sept. 12, 2014.
Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (3-2, 2.58) opens a three-game home series against Colorado on Tuesday. He’s thrown seven innings without allowing an earned run each of his last two starts.
Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (3-2, 2.30) starts the first of four games against the crosstown rival Angels on Monday. The Japanese rookie is 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA in his last three starts after beginning his MLB career 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA.
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