Sept. 7 (UPI) -- National League Cy Young contender Max Scherzer threw 13 strikeouts and allowed one run over eight innings to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a dominant 5-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Scherzer allowed six hits and did not issue a walk in the 103-pitch effort Monday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. He improved to 13-4 this season and lowered his ERA to an MLB-best 2.28.
"When they [Dodgers hitters] go out there and give you four runs, that's a huge boost," Scherzer told reporters. "It gave me freedom to go out there and really be aggressive against their lineup."
Left fielder Chris Taylor powered the Dodgers offense with a two-run homer in the first inning.
Dodgers second baseman Trea Turner doubled to lead off the game. First baseman Max Muncy singled off Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas in the next at-bat. Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts singled to left field two pitches later to plate Turner for a 1-0 lead.
Veteran third baseman Justin Turner grounded into a double play in the next at-bat, but scored Muncy during the sequence.
Mikolas then issued a walk to Corey Seager, which brought Taylor to the plate. The Dodgers left fielder took a sinker for a ball on the first pitch of his exchange with Mikolas. He then belted a 1-0 fastball to left field for a 409-foot homer and a 4-0 Dodgers lead.
Scherzer allowed a Tommy Edman double in the first at-bat of the bottom of the first. He retired the next nine Cardinals batters in order.
Shortstop Corey Seager plated the Dodgers' final run with an RBI single in the top of the third. The Cardinals got on the scoreboard due to a passed ball from Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes in the bottom of the sixth. Edman scored on that play.
Mikolas allowed five hits and five runs in five innings to drop to 0-2 in 2021. Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt went 3 for 4 in the loss. Edman went 2 for 4 for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals (69-67) host the Dodgers (87-51) at 7:45 p.m. EDT Tuesday at Busch Stadium.