ST. LOUIS -- Trailing 3-0 after an inning is enough to make most teams wonder about their chances of winning a game.
"It shouldn't matter," he said. "We feel like we have a good offense."
Los Angeles certainly did Tuesday night, erasing the lead with a four-run third inning and adding on to it with two more big innings as it notched its sixth consecutive victory with a 9-4 verdict over the struggling St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
With the win, the Dodgers (33-20) climbed into first place in the National League West, a half-game ahead of the Rockies (33-21). Colorado lost 10-4 to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.
Los Angeles pounded out 11 hits off six St. Louis pitchers. Utley finished a homer shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, while Logan Forsythe singled twice and walked three times.
"It's about finding ways to win 90 feet when we need it," Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said about the offense. "Guys were having great at-bats, running the bases well and the timely hits were huge."
It made up for an ugly start that saw Kenta Maeda fall behind St. Louis by three runs for the second consecutive outing. Two errors after a Matt Carpenter single scored the first run and Yadier Molina poked a two-run single up the middle.
Things could have gotten much worse for Maeda. The Cardinals (24-25) put men at the corners with no outs in the second with the top of the order coming up. But Maeda got a popup from Dexter Fowler, a lineout from Tommy Pham and a popup from Matt Carpenter.
As was the case Thursday night, when he couldn't make an early 3-0 lead stand in a 7-3 loss to the Dodgers, Michael Wacha struggled to hold the opponent down. The third inning got him in this game.
Adrian Gonzalez lofted a sacrifice fly for the first run. Utley drilled a ground-rule double to left that made it 3-2. Hernandez tied it with an infield single and second baseman Paul DeJong's wild throw over Carpenter at first plated Utley with the go-ahead tally.
Wacha (2-3) threw 77 pitches in his three innings, the shortest outing for a St. Louis starter this year. He allowed four runs (three earned) and five hits while walking three and whiffing four.
Los Angeles taxed Wacha throughout his nine outs. He ran up seven three-ball counts, six going to 3-2.
"Too many free baserunners, just not attacking right away," Wacha said. "I felt like I was starting off a lot at 1-0 and then getting behind them. Just extremely big pitch counts, long at-bats and that drives pitch counts up."
The Dodgers made it 7-3 with three runs in the fifth off just one hit -- Taylor's single that started the rally. Yasiel Puig and Franklin Gutierrez drew bases-loaded walks, while Forsythe scored the final run with a fielder's choice bouncer.
Brandon Morrow (1-0) pitched a clean fifth to pick up the win for Los Angeles, which leaned on its excellent bullpen for the last 15 outs. Its only slip-up was Molina's leadoff homer in the eighth, ending the Dodgers' 24 2/3-inning scoreless string from the relief corps.
Hernandez tacked on a sacrifice fly and Austin Barnes lashed an RBI pinch-double in the ninth for Los Angeles, which forced six Cardinal hurlers to toss a whopping 206 pitchers.
Maeda gave up four hits and three runs in four innings, walking three and striking out a pair. But his offense erased the impact of another short, mediocre performance.
"I appreciate them," Maeda said through an interpreter. "To be able to pick me up is a huge team win."
It was the 10th loss in 13 games for St. Louis, which fell under .500 for the first time since May 4.
NOTES: St. Louis 3B Jedd Gyorko was scratched from the lineup less than three hours before game time after receiving word that his wife was about to give birth to the couple's third child. ... Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday that LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-5, 4.28 ERA) would fill injured LHP Alex Wood's spot in the rotation Wednesday night against Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez (3-4, 3.32). ... St. Louis RF Stephen Piscotty will return to the club Wednesday after a five-day hiatus to deal with a personal matter.