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Recap: Dodgers give up seven home runs in Cardinals rout

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St. Louis Cardinals batter Juan Yepez rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off Dodgers pitcher Julio Urías.
St. Louis Cardinals batter Juan Yepez, left, rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urías in the third inning Thursday.
(Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

Every pitcher the Dodgers use gives up at least three runs as St. Louis hits seven homers en route to a 16-8 victory. Freddie Freeman hits his 300th homer.

Dodgers unsure if Julio Urías was tipping pitches in blowout loss to Cardinals

Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urías delivers during the first inning of a 16-8 loss.
Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urías delivers during the first inning of a 16-8 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.
(Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

ST. LOUIS — The Dodgers were behind the eight-ball from the start of Thursday’s game.

Their rotation depth was running thin, in the wake of Dustin May’s forearm injury Wednesday. Their bullpen was overworked, having thrown 21 innings the previous three days. And they were beginning a tricky 10-game trip, starting with a four-game series against the suddenly scorching St. Louis Cardinals.

What the team needed was an ace-caliber performance from Julio Urías — the kind of shutdown, bullpen-saving start that could reset the pitching staff and start the weekend with a strong opening statement.

What they got instead was a blowout marked by some ignominious history — with Urías giving up a single-inning franchise-record four home runs in the third inning of an eventual 16-8 defeat at Busch Stadium.

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Cardinals rout the Dodgers, 16-8

Ninth inning

Dodgers: Right-hander Chris Stratton now pitching for the Cardinals. Max Muncy struck out looking. J.D. Martinez popped to first. Miguel Vargas flied to center.

Final score: Cardinals 16, Dodgers 8

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Cardinals break game open again

Eighth inning

Dodgers: Right-hander Jordan Hicks now pitching for the Cardinals. Jason Heyward, batting for Trayce Thompson, flied to left. Freddie Freeman flied to left. Will Smith struck out swinging.

Cardinals: Paul DeJong flied to right. Brendan Donovan walked. Oscar Mercado singled to left, Donovan to second. Lars Nootbaar singled to right, Donovan scored, Mercado to third, Nootbaar to second on the throw home. Right-hander Yency Almonte now pitching for the Dodgers. Nice outing by Andre Jackson. Paul Goldschmidt was walked intentionally. Everyone moved up on a wild pitch. Willson Contreras homered to center. Nolan Arenado grounded to second. Alec Burleson walked. Nolan Gorman homered to center. It’s 16-8 Cardinals. Paul DeJong grounded to short.

Score after eight: Cardinals 16, Dodgers 8

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Cardinals 9, Dodgers 8 after seven innings

Seventh inning

Dodgers: Max Muncy homered to right. Right-hander Drew VerHagen now pitching for the Cardinals. J.D. Martinez lined to right. Miguel Vargas singled to left. James Outman singled to left. David Peralta flied to left. Miguel Rojas grounded to short, forcing Outman.

Cardinals: Nolan Arenado struck out swinging. Juan Yepez struck out swinging. Nolan Gorman grounded to the pitcher.

Score after seven: Cardinals 9, Dodgers 8

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Freddie Freeman’s grand slam puts Dodgers back in game

Sixth inning

Dodgers: J.D. Martinez flied to center. Miguel Vargas singled to left. James Outman struck out swinging. David Peralta reached on Goldschmidt’s error at first. Vargas to third. Miguel Rojas singled to left, scoring Vargas, Peralta to second. Left-handed Genesis Cabrera now pitching for the Cardinals. Trayce Thompson walked to load the bases. Freddie Freeman homered to center. Homer No. 300 and it’s a grand slam. Will Smith grounded to third.

Cardinals: Oscar Mercado flied to left. Lars Nootbaar flied to center. Paul Goldschmidt grounded to second, but Vargas booted it for an error. Willson Contreras lined to second.

Score after six: Cardinals 9, Dodgers 7

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It’s 9-2 Cardinals after five

Fifth inning

Dodgers: Mookie Betts flied to right. Freddie Freeman triple to center. Will Smith flied to right, not deep enough to score Freeman. Max Muncy lined to second.

Cardinals: Andre Jackson now pitching for the Dodgers. Trayce Thompson in right field. Nolan Gorman struck out swinging. Paul DeJong flied to left. Brandon Donovan grounded to first.

Score after five: Cardinals 9, Dodgers 2

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Dodgers no longer have the backbone to be social trailblazers

General view as Dodgers fans celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Night hosted by LA Pride and the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium
Dodgers fans attend LGBTQ+ Pride Night at Dodger Stadium in June 2021.
(Jerritt Clark / Getty Images)

Imagine if Stan Kasten was the president of the Dodgers when Jackie Robinson was about to break baseball’s color barrier.

Kasten might have sent Robinson back to the minor leagues, citing the “strong feelings of the people who have been offended” by Robinson’s inclusion on the roster.

Being on the right side of history requires a backbone, and this version of the Dodgers doesn’t have one.

Being on the right side of history requires conviction, and this version of the Dodgers doesn’t have any.

They’re just another blood-sucking business.

That would be their prerogative, except they continue to champion themselves as more than a baseball team, as agents of social change. Now, this effort to profit from their legacy of inclusion has backfired on them, imperiling one of their celebrated new traditions.

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Cardinals have commanding 9-2 lead after four innings

Fourth inning

Dodgers: Miguel Vargas flied to left. James Outman grounded to short. David Peralta walked. Miguel Rojas grounded to short, forcing Peralta.

Cardinals: Phil Bickford now pitching for the Dodgers. Oscar Mercado doubled to left. Lars Nootbaar flied to center, Mercado to third. Paul Goldschmidt walked. With Willson Contreras at the plate, Goldschmidt stole second and Mercado broke from home. Smith’s throw got past Vargas, and everyone was safe. Contreras struck out swinging. Nolan Arenado homered to left. It’s 9-2 Cardinals. Juan Yepez grounded to first.

Score after four: Cardinals 9, Dodgers 2

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Cardinals hit four home runs in third to take 6-2 lead

Third inning

Dodgers: Freddie Freeman lined to center. Will Smith grounded to short, where DeJong kicked it for an error. Max Muncy flied to left. J.D. Martinez lined to short.

Cardinals: Oscar Mercado singled to right. Lars Nootbaar popped to first. Mercado stole second. He was initially called out, but it was overturned upon review. Paul Goldschmidt walked. Willson Contreras homered to center. Nolan Arenado popped to second. Juan Yepez is batting for Tommy Edman. He collided with another outfielder in the second inning and seemed to injure his sad, so he’s coming out. Yepez homered to left. Nolan Gorman homered to right-center. Wow, Urías is not fooling anyone this inning. Paul DeJong homered to left. Quick, someone get me a bat so I can homer. Brendan Donovan flied to right.

Score after three: Cardinals 6, Dodgers 2

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With Dustin May injured, Dodgers’ starting rotation depth suddenly looks thin

Dodgers pitcher Gavin Stone delivers against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 3.
(Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS — So far this season, starting pitching has been one of the Dodgers’ biggest strengths.

They have a top-10 ERA from their starters. They have several established stars putting together All-Star-caliber campaigns.

During their recent three-week turnaround, in which they’ve gone from a sub-.500 club to the best record in the National League, the consistency of the rotation has been one of the Dodgers’ biggest keys, a long-time trademark of the franchise showing up once again.

But in the wake of Dustin May’s forearm injury Wednesday, a flexor pronator strain that will sideline him for at least five to six weeks, the club’s starting pitching depth is now being put under a microscope.

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Dodgers lead 2-0 after two innings

Second inning

Dodgers: David Peralta flied to center. Miguel Rojas flied to right. Mookie Betts grounded to short.

Cardinals: Nolan Arenado walked. Tommy Edman grounded to short, forcing Arenado. Nolan Gorman singled to left, Edman to second. Paul DeJong popped to the pitcher. Brendad Donovan flied to left.

Score after two: Dodgers 2, Cardinals 0

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Dodgers take 2-0 lead

First inning

Dodgers: Mookie Betts doubled to left. Freddie Freeman grounded to short. Will Smith walked, aided by a pitch clock violation. Max Muncy walked, loading the bases. J.D. Martinez doubled to right-center, scoring Betts and Smith. Miguel Vargas grounded to third. James Outman flied to right.

Cardinals: Lars Nootbaar popped to short. Paul Goldschmidt grounded to the pitcher. The ball hit Urías in the shin, but he appears OK. Willson Contreras struck out swinging.

Score after one: Dodgers 2, Cardinals 0

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Dodgers make some roster moves

You can cross Dylan Covey’s name off your “Pitchers who might replace Dustin May in the rotation” list.

The Dodgers announced Thursday that they have designated Covey, who replaced May and pitched four innings Wednesday, for assignment. They also recalled left-hander Justin Bruihl and right-hander Andre Jackson from triple-A Oklahoma City and put May in the 15-day IL.

The Dodgers, who have been forced to use their bullpen heavily the last few games, added Covey to the roster Wednesday to give the bullpen a fresh arm.

When May had to depart after just one inning with elbow pain, Covey pitched four innings, giving up two runs and five hits. That added his name to speculation on who would replace May in the rotation.

However, prospect Gavin Stone makes “the most sense” to replace May, according to manager Dave Roberts, and is also lined up to take May’s spot in the rotation on Monday.

Right-hander Michael Grove also rejoined the Dodgers on Thursday in St. Louis, arriving as a member of the taxi squad in case the team needs to freshen up its overworked bullpen this week. Grove had missed the past month with a groin strain.

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Today’s starting lineups

The starting lineups for today’s Dodgers-Cardinals game.

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No one-month wonder here. James Outman revives his grand rookie season

Dodgers center fielder James Outman, left, celebrates with teammate David Peralta after hitting a grand slam.
Dodgers center fielder James Outman, left, celebrates with teammate David Peralta after hitting a grand slam in the seventh inning of a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

Dodger outfielder James Outman was a deserving winner of National League rookie of the month honors in April. His .292 batting average, .991 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, seven home runs and 20 runs batted in weren’t flukes. He was a great find in a year of major turnover, an obvious answer to the question of who would lead the next generation.

But when the calendar turned to May and opponents began to figure out how to pitch to him — fastballs up in the strike zone were his nemesis — he had to fight to avoid becoming a one-month wonder. He struck out 18 times in his first 44 at-bats this month. His batting average dropped to .257. “It’s no secret. I was grinding,” he said.

His teammates constantly assured him he’d find a way past his slump. They’d been there, felt the anxiety, been tempted to change too much — or too little. Catcher Will Smith told him to find the positive in the negatives. That resonated strongly with Outman, though the 26-year-old Redwood City native sometimes had to dig hard to find the smallest hint of hope.

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Dustin May expected to miss at least six weeks with elbow injury

Dodgers starting pitcher Dustin May has his hands checked by umpire Shane Livensparger.
Dodgers starting pitcher Dustin May has his hands checked by umpire Shane Livensparger at the end of the first inning Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins at Dodger Stadium. May didn’t return to the game because of an elbow injury.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

As ominous as the situation appeared for Dodgers pitcher Dustin May, who was pulled from Wednesday’s 7-3 comeback victory over the Minnesota Twins after one inning because of right elbow pain, it could have been a lot worse.

An MRI revealed a flexor pronator strain that is expected to sideline May for about six weeks, an injury that put a damper on a win that featured James Outman’s tie-breaking grand slam in the seventh inning and reliever Victor Gonzalez’s bases-loaded, no-outs escape act in the sixth.

But the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) that was reconstructed when May had Tommy John surgery in May 2021 remained intact and “looks good,” according to a person familiar with May’s test results but not authorized to speak publicly about them.

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Dodgers TV schedule for the 2023 regular season

Here’s a look at the Dodgers TV schedule for the 2023 regular season. All times and broadcast/streaming options are subject to change.

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