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Dodgers knock Cardinals into double-digit deficit

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Clayton Kershaw won his National League-leading 16th game and Rod Barajas homered twice in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 13-2 victory Tuesday night over the fast-fading St. Louis Cardinals.

Kyle Lohse (11-8) was rocked for a season-worst eight runs in three innings, an impossible deficit against the 23-year-old Kershaw, who struck out eight in six scoreless innings. The Cardinals have lost six of eight and dropped a season-high 10 games behind the NL Central-leading Brewers.

Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer in the first and Barajas had a solo homer in the third and a three-run shot in the fifth for his 11th multihomer game, also giving him four in five games. The Dodgers hit a season-high four homers while winning consecutive games in St. Louis for the first time since July 9-10, 2003, and will go for a three-game sweep on Wednesday behind Hiroki Kuroda.

Kershaw (16-6) is 8-1 with a 1.21 ERA in his last nine starts and hiked his NL-leading strikeout total to 207. The Cardinals threatened twice, but Kershaw struck out Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman with two on to end the first and struck out the side in the fourth to negate a double, infield hit and walk.

Kemp also doubled and scored in the second and needs one homer to become the second player in franchise history with 30 homers and 30 steals. Barajas is batting .381 (16-for-42) in August with five homers, three doubles and 16 RBI in 13 games.

Yadier Molina and Rafael grounded into double plays to give the Cardinals 139 on the year, by far the most in the majors. Second baseman Skip Schumaker pitched the ninth and surrendered a solo homer to Aaron Miles, who had been the last Cardinals position player to pitch, twice last season.

Lohse had been 5-1 with a 2.98 ERA against NL West opponents before coming up empty, with half of the Dodgers’ eight hits for extra bases. The right-hander had won his previous three decisions.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa passed on a chance to cut into Kershaw’s cushion when he allowed reliever Mitchell Boggs to bat with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth. Boggs struck out on three pitches.

Notes: Kuroda (9-14, 2.88) has won his last two decisions heading into today’s matchup against Jaime Garcia (10-6, 3.45), who’s struggled this month with a 5.48 ERA. ... Cardinals RHP Jason Motte has made 27 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run. ... Kershaw reached 200 strikeouts, the seventh earliest date in franchise history. Sandy Koufax has the five fastest, three of them in July.

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