Los Angeles, CA – Luis Cruz hit the go-ahead, three-run homer in the sixth inning to lift the Los Angeles Dodgers over the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-5, in the second of a crucial four-game set at Dodger Stadium.
Cruz finished with four RBI, while Andre Ethier also homered and Adrian Gonzalez knocked in a pair for the Dodgers, who snapped a four-game slide and sit one game behind the Cardinals for the final NL wild card spot.
"We're going to enjoy this one and move on. (Ethier) and (Cruz's) homers were huge," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "This was a two-game swing. It was a big win."
Chris Capuano started the game for Los Angeles and allowed four runs -- two earned -- on six hits over 4 1/3 innings, but Shawn Tolleson (2-1) earned the win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Trevor Rosenthal (0-2) was charged with the deciding runs in the loss for St. Louis, which has dropped seven of its last nine.
Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday each hit a home run in defeat.
The Cardinals struck first in the second inning with a pair of solo home runs by Molina and Carpenter.
Los Angeles answered with a run in the bottom of the frame as Gonzalez hit a ground-rule double to right field and came home on consecutive groundouts by Hanley Ramirez and Cruz.
St. Louis regained some cushion in the third inning when Carlos Beltran reached base with two outs on Ramirez's throwing error before Holliday hammered a ball over the right-field wall.
But the Dodgers battled back again in the home third with Ethier's two-run shot to right-center field to make it a 4-3 game.
Shane Victorino worked a two-out walk prior to Ethier's 18th homer of the season.
After the Cardinals failed to add to their lead by stranding a man on third in the fifth inning, Los Angeles went on top in the sixth.
Rosenthal started the inning on the mound for St. Louis and Ethier greeted him with a single. Rosenthal was able to retire the next two batters, but then hit Ramirez with a pitch.
Edward Mujica entered next and Cruz belted his first pitch well over the wall in left field to give Los Angeles a 6-4 lead.
"If he threw me a fastball I was going to take a pitch, but he threw a hanging pitch and I swung," Cruz said about his homer.
The Dodgers added a pair of runs in the seventh when pinch-hitter Elian Herrera walked and Victorino singled to start the inning before both came around to score on Gonzalez's two-out double.
Molina hit a leadoff single off Brandon League in the ninth inning and later scored on a Skip Schumaker groundout, but St. Louis would get no closer as League got Adron Chambers to line out to center field to end the game.
Joe Kelly allowed three runs on four hits and two walks over a four-inning start for the Cardinals ... St. Louis first baseman Allen Craig went 1-for-4 to extend his hit streak to eight games ... Los Angeles snapped a four-game losing streak to St. Louis and now leads the season series between the teams, 5-4 ... The Cardinals hit 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left three men on base.