Waking up to a scathing column by Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Dodgers offense finally found its footing in St. Louis.
Home runs from Gavin Lux, Joc Pederson and Max Muncy propelled the Dodgers (7-5) to an 11-4 victory over the Cardinals (6-6) on Wednesday after scoring just one run and seven hits across the first 18 innings between the teams.
“The boys came out and just played their butts off,” Los Angeles manager Dave “Robots” Roberts said.
With the Dodgers entering the season as heavy favorites for the National League pennant, Parallel Universe Plaschke had quickly grown restless with the team’s lack of offense. Much of the ire was focused on Pederson and Muncy, who entered Wednesday’s game hitting under .200 with just one home run apiece.
The two responded early on in the victory, with Muncy driving home one on a single against Carlos Martinez before Lux cleared the bases with a three-run shot. Clayton Kershaw, who wasn’t at his best Wednesday, gave back two in the bottom of the first before Pederson came to the plate.
Leading off the second with a solo homer, Pederson started off what would be a 3-for-4 day with two runs, two RBIs and a walk. After the Dodgers added another run in the second and the Cardinals pushed another run across in their half of the second, the teams entered the third at a 6-3 score.
With Martinez chased after 1+ innings, the Cardinals forced Kershaw out of the game after four innings with the score 7-4 in favor of Los Angeles. Striking out just three while allowing six hits, Kershaw was also let down by his defense as two of his four runs were unearned.
Brusdar Graterol entered in the fifth to begin five scoreless innings for the Dodgers’ bullpen. Graterol, who earned the victory for Los Angeles, struck out two in his two innings of work while Ross Stripling took on a pair of innings as well. Pedro Baez allowed a hit and a walk in the ninth, but closed out the game without a run crossing the plate.
While the bullpen got the Cardinals’ offense under control, Muncy put the game out of reach in the sixth with a two-run dong off of Tyler Webb. Muncy finished his day 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored, a line Lux matched identically. Corey Seager and Mookie Betts also drove in runs in the victory.