Surging Cardinals suddenly in third place after series win vs. Dodgers
The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers by a 10-5 final on Sunday (box score), collecting their fourth consecutive series win. The Cardinals, who began the year 10-23, are now in third place in the National League Central with a 21-27 record on the year. Their plus-18 run differential is second best in the division.
Sunday’s win can be credited to the Cardinals’ offensive onslaught. Nolan Arenado, Tommy Edman, and recent callup Oscar Mercado each contributed three hits. Mercado, for his part, drove in five runs, becoming the fourth player in franchise history to record five runs batted in as part of a contest in which they batted ninth:
Paul DeJong, seemingly in the midst of a resurgent season himself, was the only other Cardinal to drive in multiple runs. (DeJong plated four runs, including three on his seventh home run in 23 games.)
St. Louis’ bullpen also deserves credit. Starter Jack Flaherty was chased in the fifth inning, finishing his afternoon having allowed three earned runs on four hits and four walks (versus five strikeouts). Drew VerHagen and Génesis Cabrera combined to throw 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Lefty Matthew Liberatore, pitching on short rest after starting Wednesday’s game, also appeared. Liberatore surrendered two runs on a hit and a walk in an inning of work.
The Cardinals have now taken series from the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and Dodgers since May 8. Their recent winning ways have reduced their deficit in the division to just five games. The Cardinals were 10 games back as recently as May 6.
Next on the docket for St. Louis: a seven-game, week-long road trip to Ohio with four games against the Cincinnati Reds and three against the Cleveland Guardians.