Molina, Ozuna homer as Cards top Dodgers 7-2 for 4th in rowSt. Louis Cardinals' Marcell Ozuna (23) tosses aside his bat as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes, left, watches a two-run home run by Ozuna during the eighth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Flaherty didn't think such an early tussle was all that important to his entire outing, but his manager begged to differ.
''It was a double win,'' Mike Shildt said after Flaherty pitched the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. ''It enabled him to settle in and give us a really quality start.''
Yadier Molina and Marcell Ozuna homered, and Flaherty tossed six effective innings to help the Cardinals win their fourth in a row. They've outscored their opponents 19-6 during the winning streak and will go for a four-game sweep of Los Angeles on Thursday.
Max Muncy and Joc Pederson homered for the Dodgers, who have lost three straight after a five-game winning streak.
Paul DeJong had three hits and drove in a run with a triple in the sixth. DeJong extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games. He is tied with San Francisco's Brandon Crawford for the longest current streak in the National League.
Flaherty (1-0) gave up three hits and one run in his 99-pitch effort. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. He has permitted one run over 11 innings in his last two starts.
His day started with a 23-pitch first inning that ended with the double play. He looked to the sky and breathed a sigh of relief after retiring Turner.
''They were all fastballs, sliders,'' Flaherty said. ''I kept throwing the ball. I (thought), just put it in play.''
Turner, who fouled off five consecutive 3-2 offerings, hit the ball right to DeJong at shortstop for an easy double play.
''You see 14 pitches off a starter in the first inning and try and get that count up, it helps,'' Turner said. ''But you don't want it to end in a double play.''
Molina, who drove in three runs, homered off Kenta Maeda (2-1) in the sixth to push the lead to a 5-1. Ozuna, who had three hits, added a two-run drive in the eighth.
The home run served as a bit of redemption for Ozuna, who fell face-first on the warning track after climbing the left field fence while trying to make a catch Tuesday.
''When you make a mistake, you've got to do better the next day,'' Ozuna said.
Maeda gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Pederson's one-out homer in the sixth brought the Dodgers to 2-1. Los Angeles has gone deep in 11 of 13 games this season.
''I feel that we're taking good at-bats at times,'' manager Dave Roberts said. ''We really didn't have a whole lot of opportunities.''
The Cardinals and Dodgers have played each other 2,074 times since 1892. The series is even at 1,029-1,029 with 16 ties.
KERSHAW ON TRACK
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to make his season debut Sunday or Monday, according to Roberts.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner, bothered by shoulder inflammation during spring training, completed his second effective rehab appearance Tuesday night for Double-A Tulsa against Springfield. He went six innings and allowed two runs on five hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
''He felt good coming out of it,'' Roberts said. ''He's lined up for Sunday or Monday, whichever makes the most sense.''
Dodgers: Placed C Russell Martin on the 10-day injured list with lower back inflammation and recalled C Rocky Gale from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Gale was 2 for 6 with three runs scored at Oklahoma City. He went 0 for 2 as a September call-up last season.
Cardinals: Ozuna was in the starting lineup after he tumbled off the outfield fence Tuesday when a long drive came up short of the wall.
Los Angeles RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 6.75 ERA) will face RHP Michael Wacha (0-0, 1.54) in the series finale Thursday afternoon. Buehler has not allowed a run in two career starts against St. Louis, yielding five hits over 15 innings with 18 strikeouts. Wacha walked a career-high eight in a 6-4 loss to San Diego on Saturday.
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