Clayton Kershaw pitches Dodgers past Cardinals

Miguel Vargas hit a two-run home run to propel the Los Angeles Dodgers past the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, 6-2.

Will Smith and Trayce Thompson added solo homers for Dodgers (105-47), who improved to 53-21 at home.

Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals (89-64), who lost for the fourth time in six games. Their magic number to clinch the National League Central title remained at four.

Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (10-3) allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings. Kershaw struck out seven and walked one.

Chris Martin, Evan Phillips and Tommy Kahnle each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (8-6) allowed six runs on seven hits and a walk in four innings.

Smith put the Dodgers up 1-0 with his first-inning homer.

The Dodgers kept the power on in the second inning. Thompson hit a one-out homer, then Austin Barnes hit a single and Vargas followed with his two-run homer to push the Los Angeles lead to 4-0.

Lars Nootbaar hit a leadoff double in the third inning, but Kershaw struck out Tommy Edman and Albert Pujols before retiring Paul Goldschmidt on a liner to right field.

Montgomery pitched out of trouble in the bottom of the inning. Smith hit a one-out triple but Max Muncy struck out and Chris Taylor flew out to strand him.

The Dodgers made it 6-0 in the fourth inning. Thompson drew a leadoff walk and Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts hit two-out RBI doubles.

The Cardinals cut their deficit to 6-2 in the sixth inning when Pujols hit a leadoff single and Arenado hit his 30th homer of the season, driving in his 99th and 100th runs.

Juan Yepez reached on an infield single and Dylan Carlson reached on an error, but Kershaw struck out Paul DeJong and retired Andrew Knizner on a groundout to prevent further trouble in the inning.