September 14, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Luis Cruz (47) is congratulated by manager Don Mattingly (88) after hitting a three run home run in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Pleasure Cruz: Infielder Hits Go-Ahead Homer to Preserve Playoff Hopes

Luis Cruz is suddenly a a key cog in the Dodger machine.

In his first full season as a major leaguer, Cruz is hitting .299 with five home runs and 32 runs batted in. He added to his cause Friday, hitting a three-run home run to help give the Dodgers a monumental 8-5 win against St. Louis. The victory helps decrease the Dodgers’ Wild Card deficit to just one game.

Cruz finished the game with four RBI, but he had a lot of help from the normally beleaguered offense. Adrian Gonzalez hit two doubles and drove in two runs, Andre Ethier had two runs scored and two RBI, and Shane Victorino scored twice as well.

Chris Capuano had a rough outing, continuing his downward trend of substandard performances; he has just six quality starts in his last 13 appearances. He lasted 4.1 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits, three of which were home runs, while striking out two and walking none. The bullpen managed to hold the fort, however. Matt Guerrier, Shawn Tolleson, Randy Choate, Jamey Wright and Brandon League all worked together to hold the Cardinals down for the evening, allowing just one run on two hits and one walk between the five of them.

Joe Blanton and Jaime Garcia share the rubber in Saturday’s game. If the Dodgers can win the next two games against St. Louis, they would take sole possession of the second Wild Card slot with just 15 games left in the regular season, including nine road games.

Tags: Adrian Gonzalez Andre Ethier Chris Capuano Los Angeles Dodgers Luis Cruz

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