September 15, 2018 / 9:13 PM / in 5 days

Puig hits three HRs as Dodgers maul Cardinals

Yasiel Puig hit three home runs for the first time in his career on Saturday to give him five homers in two days, and added seven RBIs as the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers grabbed sole possession of the second wild card spot in the National League with a 17-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cody Bellinger homered and drove in six runs and Manny Machado also went deep as the Dodgers also moved into a temporary tie for first place in the National League West with the Colorado Rockies, who play later Saturday.

The Dodgers have won the first three games of a four-game series at St. Louis between playoff contenders, after the Cardinals earned a three-game sweep at Los Angeles last month. The Dodgers have outscored the Cardinals 29-11 in the series.

Since that sweep in L.A. by the Cardinals, the Dodgers have won 15 of their last 21 games and they are 6-3 with one more game remaining on their 10-game, three-city road trip.

The Cardinals dropped their fourth consecutive game but are still 33-22 in the second half and 34-22 since Mike Shildt took over as manager from Mike Matheny.

Puig went deep in the fourth, fifth and eighth innings to give him 21 home runs on the season. He had a chance for a fourth home run in the ninth inning but popped out to shortstop. Before his five-homer outburst in two days, Puig had just one home run over his previous 23 games.

Dodgers starter Rich Hill overcame a fourth-inning grand slam from rookie Patrick Wisdom to win for the third consecutive time and improve to 7-1 in 10 starts since the All-Star break. Hill (9-5) gave up four runs on just two hits over five innings with eight strikeouts.

Wisdom’s grand slam came in his seventh career major league start and it was his fourth home run of the season. Cardinals starter John Gant (7-6) gave up six runs on six hits with four walks over 4 1/3 innings.

Machado has 35 home runs, 11 of which have come since he joined the Dodgers on July 20. Bellinger hit homer No. 23.

Justin Turner, Joc Pederson and Bellinger all had three hits, in addition to Puig. Turner’s three hits came despite getting hit by a pitch on the left wrist in the third inning. Max Muncy reached base five times for the Dodgers on a hit and four walks.

Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias, who had shoulder surgery last year, made his 2018 debut with a scoreless ninth inning.

—Field Level Media

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