LOS ANGELES — For the first time in a while, there was no walk-off celebration for the Los Angeles Dodgers. They got enough runs early and made them hold up.
Blake DeWitt hit his first home run of the year and drove in a career-high five runs in a 12-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.
"It was a great night all around," he said. "We put pressure on them and had great pitching."
The Dodgers won for the seventh time in nine games, giving themselves plenty of breathing room this time. Their six previous wins were all by one run, with four coming in walk-off fashion.
"This was a little easier for me," Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said.
Carlos Monasterios (3-0) allowed three runs and four hits in six-plus innings, walked three and struck out none. The 24-year-old rookie is filling in capably for injured starter Vicente Padilla, who has been on the DL because of a sore right elbow since April 23.
"He's really stepped up for us and given us a big lift," pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. "Each game he's been very consistent. He gets irritated when he walks guys. He continues to improve and goes right at you. That's his nature."
That includes St. Louis sluggers Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday. Pujols was hitless in four at-bats, while Holliday was hitless in three.
"He was able to locate his sinker away and did a good job keeping us off-balance with his off-speed stuff," Cardinals center fielder Randy Winn said. "He had such a big difference in speed between the fastball and the off-speed stuff that it was tough to lay back. And when you thought he might throw something off-speed, he had enough on his fastball to sneak it by you."
Before this season, Monasterios had appeared in just two games above the Single-A level. He pitched mostly out of the bullpen in the minors last season.
"I feel more comfortable starting games," he said through a translator.
Blake Hawksworth (0-3) gave up six runs and seven hits in four innings, struck out five and walked three in his first major league start after 48 career relief appearances.
"I'm better than that," he said. "It's just frustrating. I did everything I could to make pitches."
DeWitt's three-run homer on a 3-2 pitch from P.J. Walters hit the right field pole, extending the Dodgers' lead to 10-1. Ronnie Belliard singled in the other run in the fifth.
"I was trying to force things the last couple weeks and that always makes things hard on a hitter," DeWitt said. "When you're relaxed, you're definitely seeing the ball better."
DeWitt's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the seventh made it 11-4 before pinch-hitter Garret Anderson's RBI double brought in another run.
Los Angeles scored four runs in the fourth to break the game open. DeWitt and A.J. Ellis, starting for Russell Martin, had RBI singles, while Rafael Furcal's ground-rule double bounced on the warning track in right field, scoring two runs for a 6-1 lead.
"It was a just a rough night," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "They hit some soft balls that were hits, but they also had some hard-hit balls where we turned some double plays."
The Dodgers opened the game with a pair of runs in the first. Matt Kemp hit an RBI single and scored on a double-play grounder by Manny Ramirez.
Ryan Ludwick homered twice for the Cardinals, his first coming in the second and his other leading off the seventh. Kemp leaped to snag the ball over the fence in center field, but it narrowly missed his outstretched glove.
"I was behind in the count on both at-bats and when you're behind you pay," Monasterios said.
NOTES: Cardinals 3B David Freese sat out his second straight game because of a sprained right ankle and isn't expected to return to the starting lineup until Friday. … Cardinals CF Colby Rasmus was out of the starting lineup because of tightness in his left calf a day after he left early against Milwaukee. … The Cardinals turned three double plays. … St. Louis fell to 7-1 on Mondays this season, losing on the first day of the week for the first time since July 20, 2009, at Houston. … The teams played for the first time since Los Angeles swept St. Louis in three games to win the NL division series last October.
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