Dodgers beat Cardinals and tie up to be No 1 in the National

Will Smith had two hits and Michael Grove pitched five solid innings in his first career win as the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched top team in the National League with a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Two days after hitting 700 homers, Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols received a standing ovation when he was announced as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning and struck out.

Grove (1-0), in his sixth appearance and fifth start, gave up one run on three hits to help the Dodgers match a team record with 106 wins, something they achieved in 2019 and 2021. Andre Jackson pitched the final three innings to earn his first save and left fielder Joey Gallo had a spectacular catch on Dylan Carlson’s drive to end the game.

The Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman doubled in the first inning for 191 hits, matching a career high set in 2018 with Atlanta.

The Angels scored twice in the first. After Freeman’s RBI hit, Adam Wainwright walked Gallo with the bases loaded to make it 2-0.

Yadier Molina singled in the second to put St. Louis up 3-1, but Smith’s single in the bottom half regained the two-run lead. Cody Bellinger doubled to right field to increase the lead to 4-1.

Wainwright (11-11) gave up four runs and six innings with three walks in three innings.

For the Cardinals, Puerto Rican Yadier Molina 3-1 with an RBI. The Dominican Albert Pujols 1-0.

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