Cardinals go back-to-back-to-back, blast Busch Stadium III record seven homers to beat Dodgers

St. Louis Cardinals' Juan Yepez tosses his bat in celebration after hitting a solo home run...
St. Louis Cardinals' Juan Yepez tosses his bat in celebration after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday, May 18, 2023, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 8:53 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Although it’s only the middle of May, the Cardinals have already had more than their fair share of games this season in which the vibes simply refused to flow their way.

Thursday night against the Dodgers, the pendulum swung back in the other direction with authority as the Cardinals put together a home run barrage for the ages to send Busch Stadium into a frenzy.

The St. Louis lineup blasted a Busch Stadium III record seven home runs in a 16-8 win over the Dodgers that demonstrated the type of power potential the Cardinals possess.

The Redbirds smashed four home runs in the third inning alone, punctuated by a back-to-back-to-back stretch in which Juan Yepez, Nolan Gorman and Paul DeJong all teed off consecutively against Los Angeles starter Julio Urias.

After the Dodgers crept their way back into the contest with help from a Freddie Freeman grand slam, the Cardinals put together a seven-run eighth inning to decisively claim the opener of the four-game series at Busch.

Willson Contreras opened the third-inning rally with a big swing and an emphatic reaction as his deep fly landed halfway up Freese’s Lawn in center field. Contreras admired his handiwork with a number of measured steps out of the batter’s box as the ball soared over the wall to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead for the Cardinals.

After a Nolan Arenado popout broke the home run streak momentarily--don’t worry, he got his homer in the fourth inning--Juan Yepez was determined to begin anew. Yepez had just entered the game as a pinch-hitter after Tommy Edman was removed with abdomen soreness following an earlier collision with Lars Nootbaar in right-center field. He made sure to take advantage of his chance.

Yepez unloaded down the left-field line for his second home run of the season, celebrating his blast with a shushing motion followed by an exuberant leap as he approached home plate.

Next came Gorman’s first home run of the night, drilled out to right-center on a middle-middle offering that Urias surely wishes he had back. Gorman’s blast was of particular note as it was the first of his MLB career against a left-handed pitcher.

The Cardinals have spent the majority of the season platooning Gorman, keeping him out of the lineup against lefties due to his lackluster track record against them in his career. With his impressive overall performance to begin the season, however, the team’s stance seems to be softening on that front recently.

Gorman drew a start against Brewers’ lefty Wade Miley on Tuesday and was back in the starting lineup for an opportunity against LA’s Urias Thursday night. He roped a base hit against Urias in his first at-bat before uncorking on a baseball to go back-to-back with Yepez.

DeJong raised the ante by extending the streak in his at-bat, guiding a moonshot inside the foul pole in left to the elation of the crowd. DeJong’s second homer in as many days marked the first time the Cardinals had gone back-to-back-to-back since the team walloped four consecutive homers on July 2, 2022 against Philadelphia.

In the fourth inning Thursday, Arenado homered for the sixth time in his last seven games. The Cardinals slugged two more blasts and tallied seven more runs in the eighth as Contreras and Gorman each slugged their second of the night.