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Major League Baseball
LA Dodgers 9, St. Louis 6
When: 8:08 PM ET, Sunday, July 24, 2016
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
Temperature: 96°
Umpires: Home - Greg Gibson, 1B - Dana DeMuth, 2B - Mike Estabrook, 3B - Ramon De Jesus
Attendance: 41423

ST. LOUIS -- Mike Mayers' major league debut was a horror show.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were only too happy to own the starring role.

"Absolutely not," manager Dave Roberts smiled when asked if he felt even a little sorry for Mayers. "You just keep piling on. No one feels sorry for us."

Mercilessly pounding Mayers for eight hits and nine runs in 1 1/3 innings, Los Angeles capped a winning road trip Sunday night with a 9-6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at sultry Busch Stadium.

Mayers, who pitched to an earned run average of under 3.00 at two different minor league stops, couldn't cope with the hot Dodgers' attack. Four batters into the game, he trailed 4-0 after a hanging slider was drilled over the center-field wall by Adrian Gonzalez for the fifth grand slam of his career.

The first-inning agony didn't end there. Los Angeles pitcher Scott Kazmir slapped a two-run single up the middle for a 6-0 lead. Mayers then coughed up three more runs in the second, departing after Howie Kendrick's two-run homer to right-center made it 9-1.

Mayers, who's heading back to Triple-A Memphis Monday, became the second MLB pitcher to allow nine earned runs while failing to last through two innings since ERA became a stat in 1913.

"I feel like my stuff plays up here," he said, "but I just didn't make pitches. It just kind of snowballed. Next thing you know, it's a grand slam."

In winning two of three against a fellow National League playoff contender, the Dodgers (56-44) wrapped up a nine-game road trip through three time zones at 5-4. They are two games clear of Miami for the first wild-card spot and are just three games back of San Francisco for first place in the West.

"We're just playing great baseball right now," said third baseman Justin Turner, who reached base three times, going 2-for-4 with two runs. "We're finally catching up to our pitching staff."

Kazmir (9-3) was the beneficiary of this onslaught, lasting five innings on a night where the heat index was 108 degrees at game time. Kazmir gave up six hits and three runs, walking none and whiffing three.

Matt Holliday collected an RBI double and Tommy Pham cracked a two-run homer for St. Louis (52-46), which managed to make a game of it as its bullpen pieced together 7 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Cardinals drew within three runs with a three-run outburst in the seventh off reliever Adam Liberatore, snapping his streak of 28 straight scoreless appearances. Stephen Piscotty's two-run double capped the rally.

But Los Angeles finished it out from there, Joe Blanton working a clean eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitching a 1-2-3 ninth for his 29th save in 34 chances.

St. Louis stayed a game back of Miami for the second wild-card spot and now starts a 10-game road trip Monday night against the New York Mets.

As for the Dodgers, they'll be happy to enjoy the comforts of home Monday for the first time since the day prior to the All-Star break.

"I'm not sure what my house looks like," Roberts joked.

NOTES: By calling up RHP Mike Mayers from Triple-A Memphis for the start, St. Louis became the last team to use a sixth starting pitcher. Mayers, 24, was a combined 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA over 18 starts in Double-A and Triple-A this year. ... To make room for Mayers, the Cardinals optioned RHP Miguel Socolovich to Memphis. Socolovich appeared in two games with St. Louis, allowing one run in 3 2/3 innings. ... Los Angeles RF Yasiel Puig (right hamstring tightness) didn't start for a third consecutive game. He was replaced by Andrew Toles.
Top Game Performances
Starting Pitchers
LA Dodgers   St. Louis
Scott Kazmir Player Mike Mayers
Win W/L Loss
5.0 IP 1.1
3 Strikeouts 1
6 Hits 8
5.40 ERA 60.75
LA Dodgers   St. Louis
Adrian Gonzalez Player Stephen Piscotty
3 Hits 2
4 RBI 2
1 HR 0
6 TB 3
.600 Avg .500
Team Stats Summary
Team Hits HR TB Avg LOB K RBI BB SB Errors
LA Dodgers 13 2 21 .342 22 7 8 7 1 0
St. Louis 8 1 14 .235 6 8 6 2 0 1