Muncy’s homer rallies Dodgers past Cardinals to win series

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol talks with the infielders as they wait on a pitcher during the eighth inning of Sunday’s game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. (Associated Press)
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol talks with the infielders as they wait on a pitcher during the eighth inning of Sunday’s game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. (Associated Press)

LOS ANGELES -- Pinch-hitter Max Muncy drilled a two-run homer to right field with one out in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied from a four-run deficit Sunday night to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4.

Teoscar Hernández had two hits, including a home run, and drove in two runs as the Dodgers took three of four in the series.

St. Louis rookie Victor Scott II reached base three times and scored two runs while Paul Goldschmidt and Brendan Donovan both had two RBI.

Los Angeles trailed 4-2 going into the bottom of the eighth before coming back. Hernández got the Dodgers within a run with his third homer of the season, a solo shot off to left-center off Andre Pallante.

Chris Taylor drew a walk before John King came in to replace Pallante. Muncy then hit a hanging slider over the wall in right-center off King (0-1), who was called up Sunday morning from Triple-A Memphis.

“Everyone realizes even when you don’t start a game, you can come back and still impact the game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “When you don’t have everything going early today, it’s nice to still get the matchups and have guys willing and able to perform late.”

Los Angeles led the majors last season with eight wins when trailing by four runs or more.

The home run is also a continued boost of confidence for Muncy, who had a .204 batting average the past two seasons. He has a hit in all six Dodgers games, which is his longest hitting streak to begin a season.

“I feel relaxed and that to me that’s the most important thing. When I’m relaxed, I’m not pressing. I’m able to just see the ball and try to get a good swing on it,” Muncy said.

Nabil Crismatt (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win and Daniel Hudson retired the Cardinals in order in the ninth for his first save.

Scott got his first big-league hit with an infield single in the third inning. After advancing to second on Masyn Winn’s single, he scored on Goldschmidt’s single off Dodgers starter Gavin Stone.

Scott led off the fifth with a double in left-center and made it 2-0 on Donovan’s base hit.

The Cardinals extended their lead to 4-0 in the sixth with a pair of runs with two outs and the bases loaded. Donovan was hit by Alex Vesia’s fastball to bring in Willson Contreras and Goldschmidt reached on catcher interference to score Jordan Walker.

Cardinals starter Steven Matz kept the Dodgers in check before tiring in the sixth. Shohei Ohtani led off the inning with a ground-rule double down the right-field line. Ohtani came home two batters later on Hernández’s double. Matz allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

“Steven did a nice job and gave us what we needed,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said of Matz. “We tried to go as deep as possible with him knowing we were short in the bullpen. He gave us a shot for sure.”

Notes: Cardinals RHP Riley O’Brien (right forearm flexor strain) was placed on the 15-day injured list. … Dodgers RHP Walker Buehler gave up four runs (three earned) in 3⅓ innings during a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City against Tacoma. Buehler continues to work his way back after having Tommy John Surgery on his right elbow in August 2022. … The Cardinals open a three-game series tonight at San Diego. RHP Kyle Gibson makes his first start of the season. … Dodgers LHP James Paxton makes his Los Angeles debut in today’s opener of a three-game series against San Francisco.