ST. LOUIS — Yasiel Puig has never missed the postseason since making his major league debut in 2013, and he does not plan on ending that run.
Puig homered three times on Saturday, giving him five homers in two games, and had a career-high seven runs batted in to help the Los Angeles Dodgers rout St. Louis, 17-4, and move ahead of the Cardinals into sole possession of the second National League wild card.
“We want to be back in the playoffs, like every year.” Puig said. “We need to play like a team, like family, hard every day, every pitch, in every situation.”
Puig hit a solo home run in the fourth inning against John Gant (7-6) and three-run drives in the fifth against Mike Mayers and in the seventh versus Luke Weaver. Puig raised his season total to 21 home runs with the first three-homer game of his major league career. He became the fourth Dodgers hitter since 2000 with consecutive multihomer games, joining Cody Bellinger, Adrian Beltre and Shawn Green.
“He’s focused and he understands the importance of every pitch,” Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts said. “For him to be as productive, have that day, get us on the board, have some space with the score, we needed every bit of it today. Guys fed off of his energy.”
Bellinger hit a three-run homer in the ninth against Weaver and had a career-high six R.B.I. The Dodgers, the defending N.L. champions, have won four consecutive games and nine of their last 14.
Rich Hill (9-5) allowed four runs, two hits and four walks in five innings, improving to 3-1 in seven starts against the Cardinals.
St. Louis has lost four straight games for the third time this season. Gant allowed three runs, six hits and four walks in four and a third innings.
Manny Machado hit a two-run homer in the first inning, his 11th for Los Angeles and 35th this year over all. The Dodgers have homered in 23 consecutive games, the longest streak in the major leagues this season and one shy of the franchise record, set in 1953.
Patrick Wisdom put St. Louis ahead by 4-3 in the fourth with his first major league grand slam. Bellinger hit a two-run single off Tyler Webb in the fifth.
“Hopefully they got all their hits out today,” Wisdom said. “I think everyone’s flushed what happened today, and we’re moving on.”