St. Louis (16-20) is last in the majors in runs (118) scored and last in the NL in hits (247), but had eight runs and 10 hits in the first three innings of Monday’s series-opening 8-4 victory.
The Cardinals scored three runs in the first inning, matching their total from the opening frame in their first 35 games. They also finished with 13 hits, the same number they had in their entire three-game weekend series against San Diego, when they were shut out twice.
“We’ll be all right. We’ve just been in a little funk,” outfielder Chris Duncan said. “It’s part of the game and I think everyone understands that. You just have to keep grinding. We talked about just trying to put together good at-bats.”
The win was St. Louis’ 10th straight over Los Angeles (23-16) dating back to the 2005 season, the Cards’ longest winning streak over the Dodgers in the 116-year-old history of the series.
Despite the big victory, Albert Pujols’ struggles at the plate continued. He was hitless in five at-bats, and is just 3-for-32 (.094) in his last nine games.
With Pujols slumping, Duncan hit a two-run homer - the club’s first home run since May 1 - and David Eckstein went 3-for-4 with a double.
Eckstein is batting .423 (11-for-26) with three doubles in his career against Derek Lowe (3-4, 3.61 ERA), who looks to bounce back from a hard-luck loss when he starts Tuesday for Los Angeles.
Lowe took a four-hit shutout into the ninth inning on Thursday at Florida, but a walk and an error put two men on, and Josh Willingham gave the Marlins a 3-0 victory with a homer on the game’s final pitch.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Lowe, who has allowed just two home runs this season. “One-nothing, 10-9, it doesn’t matter.”
The right-hander will pitch at home for just the third time this season. Lowe has split his starts games at Dodger Stadium, while posting a 2.40 ERA there.
Lowe has lost all three of his career regular-season starts against the Cardinals, allowing 11 earned runs and 29 hits in 16 innings. He did, however, pitch seven shutout innings to defeat St. Louis on Oct. 27, 2004, to clinch a World Series sweep for the Boston Red Sox.
NL West-leading Los Angeles saw its three-game winning streak end with Monday’s loss, and will try to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time since dropping a season-high four in a row April 22-26.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal had four hits for the second straight game, a hot streak which has raised his batting average 48 points to .276.
Adam Wainwright (3-2, 5.01) starts for St. Louis on Tuesday, trying to win his third straight start. The right-hander has given up four total runs in 12 innings to win his last two outings.
Wainwright, a converted reliever, allowed two runs, nine hits and no walks in six innings of a 9-2 win over Colorado on Wednesday.
In three career relief appearances against the Dodgers, Wainwright has thrown 3 2-3 scoreless innings.