AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Chad Billingsley returned from the 15-day disabled list with a strong outing that ended a five-start losing streak and Luis Cruz hit a three-run homer as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 Monday night for their fifth straight victory.
Cruz, recalled July 2 to replaced injured shortstop Dee Gordon, has two career homers and 12 RBIs. Eight of his 14 hits are for extra bases. His three-run shot in the second barely cleared the left-field wall - the ball conked left fielder Matt Holliday on the rebound - to give the Dodgers the early jump in their eighth straight win over St. Louis dating to April 17, 2011.
Kenley Jansen struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 24 chances. The Dodgers also won eight in a row against St. Louis from 1975-76, their best streak in the series since moving to Los Angeles.
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