ST. LOUIS — While the Los Angeles Dodgers got back in the win column Wednesday night, the St. Louis Cardinals might have felt fortunate they didn’t lose more than a game.
Carl Crawford’s four hits led Los Angeles’ 18-hit attack, and the Dodgers routed St. Louis 13-4 at sold-out Busch Stadium, their 33rd win in 41 games and their 16th in 17 away from Chavez Ravine.
Andre Ethier and former Cardinal Skip Schumaker each drove in four runs for the Dodgers (63-50), who knocked out starter Shelby Miller two pitches into the game and then pounced on veteran Jake Westbrook.
Scheduled to start Thursday night, Westbrook relieved to start the second inning after Michael Blazek worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first. But Westbrook (7-7) gave up 13 hits and nine runs over 4 2/3 innings to drop his third straight decision.
“That was bad luck for them early,” Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. “It puts you in a bind. The guys knew Westbrook because they’d faced him a bit before. We scratched for some runs and kept putting together good at-bats.”
Crawford’s first hit was a liner that struck Miller on his right elbow and caromed into left field for a double. The rookie right-hander, who came into the game with 11 wins and a 2.89 ERA, doubled over in pain.
After a brief consultation with manager Mike Matheny and the training staff, Miller walked off the mound. X-rays were negative, and Miller was diagnosed with a contusion. He said he might make his next start Tuesday night against Pittsburgh.
The Dodgers proceeded to feast on Westbrook in a six-run, five-hit second inning. Jerry Hairston started it by grounding a two-run single to left with the bases loaded. Adrian Gonzalez followed by lining an RBI single to right-center that made it 3-0.
After a Yasiel Puig walk refilled the bases, Ethier’s liner off the glove of Westbrook was turned into an out, but Hairston scored. Schumaker capped the outburst by poking a two-run single to left.
“I’ve got to do a better job making pitches and getting outs,” Westbrook said. “It’s been the same story my last three times out.”
Following Crawford’s RBI single in the fifth that made it 7-0, St. Louis briefly got back into contention with three runs in its half of the inning. All were unearned, courtesy of a three-base throwing error by Los Angeles pitcher Ricky Nolasco.
The Dodgers kept on hitting, picking up two more runs in the sixth and four more in the ninth to exhaust what was left of the Cardinals’ bullpen. Matheny waved in backup catcher Rob Johnson to collect the ninth inning’s final out.
Nolasco (8-9) needed 103 pitches to complete five innings, allowing seven hits and fanning five as he improved to 3-1 with Los Angeles.
“You go out and pitch like it’s a close game,” he said of pitching with a big early lead. “There’s no break in that lineup, top to bottom. And the error just cost me. You can’t do that.”
However, the Dodgers could afford a few miscues as their lineup just pounded away. Every starter except Nolasco scored a run. Ethier finished a homer short of the cycle, and Crawford reached base five times.
“We’re having fun with this,” Hairston said of the team’s extended roll. “Winning two games here is big for us.”
NOTES: Los Angeles SS Hanley Ramirez (jammed right shoulder) didn’t play for the third straight game and was replaced by Dee Gordon. Ramirez was injured going into the seats behind third base at Wrigley Field in the seventh inning Sunday … St. Louis manager Mike Matheny scratched Allen Craig in order to give Matt Adams a start at first base against a right-hander. The Dodgers will start LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu in Thursday night’s series finale against RHP Carlos Martinez, who will be called up from Triple-A Memphis. … Cardinals RHP Seth Maness induced his 12th double play ball Tuesday night, the most for a reliever on the team since Julian Tavarez got 14 back in 2005. Making Maness’ number more remarkable is that he’s only pitched 39 innings since being called up a month into the season.