Game Report: Dodgers 5, Cardinals 1

By Rob Rains

Memorial Day is usually considered one of the first mileposts of a baseball season with almost one-third of the team’s games completed by that day.

The Cardinals hit that marker on Monday with an exactly .500 record at 24-24 after their loss to the Dodgers in the opener of a four-game series at Busch Stadium.

Mike Leake was not as sharp as he had been in his first nine starts of the season and the dormant Cardinals’ offense could not do enough to pick him up, recording only five hits.

They actually had one chance to get back in the game, in the seventh inning. Trailing 4-1, they could have had runners on first and third with just one out and pinch-hitter Greg Garcia coming to the plate. Instead, third base coach Chris Maloney sent Paul DeJong from second on an error by shortstop Corey Seager that let the ball roll into short left field. DeJong was thrown out easily at the plate.

“That’s probably one you’d like to have back and have a do over,” said manager Mike Matheny. “That’s one that’s got to be 100 percent.”

Here’s how the game broke down:

At the plate:
The Dodgers helped the Cardinals score their only run in the fourth inning. After retiring the first 10 batters, Rich Hill walked Tommy Pham on a 3-2 pitch before a fielding error by Adrian Gonzalez on a pickoff throw moved him to second. Hill then hit Matt Carpenter with a pitch, also on a 3-2 count, before the two pulled off a double steal, giving Pham the chance to score on a sacrifice fly from Jedd Gyorko … The Cardinals got consecutive singles from Aledmys Diaz and DeJong to open the fifth before Jose Martinez grounded into a double play … DeJong also doubled in the seventh, giving him two of the team’s five hits … Yadier Molina was 0-of-4, snapping his hitting streak at 16 games. That equaled the longest of his career, a mark he set last season.

On the mound:
Leake gave up two homers as he allowed a season-high four runs over seven innings … Kevin Siegrist also served up a homer, as the Dodger hit three or more homers in a game in St. Louis for the first time since 2011 and only the second time since 2001.

Key stat:
After getting three hits on Sunday in Colorado, Dexter Fowler was 0-of-4 and saw his average fall back to .222. Matt Carpenter was 1-of-3 and is now 4-of-23 in his last seven games, dropping his average for the season to .226. Among players with 135 or more at-bats in those spots in the batting order, Fowler has the third-worst average in the NL hitting leadoff and Carpenter has the second-worst average among third-place hitters.

Worth noting:
Martinez was activated from the disabled list and started in right field as Randal Grichuk was optioned to Class A Palm Beach … GM John Mozeliak said he had not received the results of the MRI and other tests on Kolten Wong’s left elbow that were conducted on Monday … Mozeliak said he expects outfielder Stephen Piscotty to rejoin the team in the next day or two. He has been away dealing with a personal family matter, which the Cardinals have declined to describe in more detail … Minor-leaguer Daniel Poncedeleon, who was hit in the head with a line drive earlier this month while pitching for Memphis, has been released from a Des Moines hospital. He likely will spend a couple of weeks in a rehab facility in Iowa before getting medical clearance to return to his home in Florida, Mozeliak said … Pitching for Memphis on Monday, Luke Weaver raised his record to 5-1 , allowing two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out nine in seven innings. His ERA for the season is now 2.08.

Looking ahead: Michael Wacha will get the start on Tuesday night against Kenta Maeda. The game begins an hour earlierthan normal at 6:05 p.m.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains