LOS ANGELES – Corey Seager had the first multi-homer game of his career as the rookie hit two home runs in the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium.
Seager and St. Louis' third baseman, Matt Carpenter, hit opposing solo shots in the third inning before Yadier Molina broke the 1-1 deadlock in the top of the seventh with a pinch-hit, two-run double.
Joe Blanton walked Brandon Moss to get to Molina who made the Dodgers pay with his RBI double down the left field line. The runs were the first allowed by the bullpen in the last 20 innings.
"We had a rested bullpen and I liked the matchups in the seventh," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of his pen. "Joe's been dominant against right-handers, obviously Yadier is a clutch hitter, but the way Joe throws the baseball, I'd take him 10 times out of 10 in that situation."
After starting the season 0-3 with a 6.03 ERA, Mike Leake (2-3), won his second consecutive start, allowing one run on four hits with three strikeouts in six innings of work as St. Louis avoided the three-game sweep to the Dodgers.
"Leake changes speed and works both sides of the plate," Roberts said. "We really couldn't get anything going, Corey took a great swing on a ball and that was our only offense tonight."
In his first ever start against St. Louis, Alex Wood pitched well for Los Angeles, but did not factor in the decision as his home ERA rose to a paltry 1.38, still best on the team and third in the National League.
"That's a really tough team to sweep," Wood said of the Cardinals. "We knew we were going to have a battle. I still wasn't sure Carpenter's homer was going to get out. I felt good, but sometimes that's the way it goes."
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Seager scored the only runs of the game with homers in the third and eighth inning. His first long ball off Leake was a sinker smashed into the Dodgers bullpen, and his second solo shot was off Kevin Siegrist in the bottom of the eighth as he turned on a four-seam fastball launching it into the right field pavilion for his team-leading sixth home run of the season.
After a short slump to start the season, Seager has been on a tear of late, homering for the second consecutive game, third in two games, and four in the past five games. Overall, Seager has three doubles, four home runs and seven RBI in his last 35 plate appearances.
"Corey is learning the league," Roberts said of his shortstop. "With the strength that he has and the swing that he has if he gets a strike he's doing to do some things. It's really good to see."
The Redbirds broke the game open off Blanton in the top of the seventh. After a walk to Moss put runners on second and third, Molina's two-run double gave St. Louis a 3-1 lead. One batter later, Stephen Piscotty hit an RBI single to LF to give the Cardinals a commanding 4-1 lead.
Trever Rosenthal worked the ninth for his seventh save of the season.
With the loss, the Dodgers fall out of a first place tie with the San Francisco Giants for first place in the NL West, and are just one-game ahead of the Colorado Rockies in the standings.
Players of the Game:
Corey Seager: Two home runs.
Matt Carpenter: Home run.
Yadier Molina: Game-winning pinch-hit two-run double.
1. Stop the Leake: Entering the game, the only active Dodger to have homered off Redbirds starter Mike Leake was Chase Utley. That all changed as Corey Seager joined the exclusive club in the third inning with a solo shot into the Dodgers' bullpen.
Leake was looking good, but Seager flips one opposite field in left to tie the game 1-1. Sort of like another game involving St. Louis. — viva el birdos (@vivaelbirdos) May 16, 2016
2. Hip Check: Dodgers' relief pitcher Louis Coleman took a comebacker off the hip for the first out of the seventh inning. Thankfully, the ball ricocheted to Justin Turner at third base for the 1-5-3 putout prompting us to ask, does Coleman get an assist for that?
3. Power Surge: Thanks to Corey Seager's third inning blast, the Dodgers have now homered in nine consecutive games, their longest streak since they went deep in 11 straight games in September of 2009.
Cardinals (20-18): St. Louis has a day off before retreating to Busch Stadium to host the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
Dodgers (20-18): The Freeway Series starts on Monday when the Angels come to Dodger Stadium for the home-and-home four-game series.
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