Grove helps Dodgers beat Cardinals 4-1 to clinch top NL seed
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Will Smith had two hits and Michael Grove pitched five solid innings to pick up his first career victory as the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the National League with 4-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.
Two days after reaching 700 home runs, 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), making his sixth appearance and fifth start, gave up one run and three hits to help the Dodgers tie a club record with their 106th win — previously accomplished in 2019 and 2021. Andre Jackson pitched the final three innings for his first save, with left fielder Joey Gallo making a diving catch of a ball hit by Dylan Carlson to end the game.
The Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman doubled in the first inning, giving him 191 hits and tying his career-high set in 2018 with Atlanta.
Los Angeles scored twice in the first. After Freeman’s run-scoring hit, Adam Wainwright walked Gallo with the bases load to make it 2-0.
Yadier Molina had an RBI single in the second to pull St. Louis to 3-1, but Smith’s RBI single in the bottom of the inning restored the Dodgers’ two-run lead. Cody Bellinger had an RBI double to right field in the third to push Los Angeles’ lead to 4-1.
Wainwright (11-11) allowed four runs and six hits with three walks in three innings.
Wainwright and Molina made their 327th career start as batterymates, extending their MLB record.
Dodgers: RHP Yency Almonte (right elbow tightness) faced four batters for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he’s scheduled to join the team Tuesday in San Diego and could be activated Wednesday.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (11-13, 3.35 ERA) looks to snap a three-start losing streak as he faces Milwaukee RHP Adrian Houser (6-9, 4.62 ERA) in the series opener on Tuesday.
Dodgers: LHP Tyler Anderson (15-4, 2.52 ERA) starts the series opener at San Diego on Tuesday against veteran LHP Blake Snell (8-9, 3.62 ERA).
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