Dodgers-Cardinals: LA Drops Fourth in a Row in 15th Inning, 3-2

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Dodgers-Cardinals: LA Drops Fourth in a Row in 15th Inning, 3-2

The first place Los Angeles Dodgers rode a season-high three-game losing streak, and the bullpen blew two separate one-run leads, once in the ninth and again in the 11th, amidst a dramatic extra-inning loss, 3-2, against the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals.

Albert Pujols lined a walk-off RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the 15th inning off Jeff Weaver to end the game after a long battle.

On a night when Clayton Kershaw pitched with the poise of a veteran, the offense had a hard time performing at the dish—they left 15 on base after stranding nine last night—in a game that saw wild twists and turns.

The 21-year old did his part by using a 96-MPH fastball complimented with a 66-MPH curveball that kept Cardinals hitters begging for mercy at the end of the night.

He went eight innings for the Dodgers (62-39), the longest outing of his career, and struck out seven while walking only two hitters. The Cards (56-48) scattered only four hits against him and Kershaw never allowed a run to cross in his shutout effort, which was his fourth in his past six starts.

Clayton was in line for the win until Jonathan Broxton blew his third save of the season in the bottom of the ninth.

Broxton had to go through the meat of the Cardinals lineup, facing Pujols, Matt Holliday, and Ryan Ludwick. He retired the first two but then Ludwick singled with two outs to keep the pressure on the Dodgers’ closer.

Ludwick moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, and it was costly as Rasmus muscled a broken-bat single into centerfield to tie the game at 1-1 and relegate Kershaw to a no decision.

Los Angeles had scored their first run when Casey Blake lined a one-out triple into centerfield with one out in the fourth.

He could have been held to just a single, but Ludwick made a diving attempt to catch the drive and missed the ball, letting it roll all the way to the fence, which pushed Blake all the way to third.

James Loney, who was 4-for-6 on the night, followed with an RBI single to left field, giving the Dodgers their first lead of the entire series at 1-0.

The play of the game came in the bottom of the seventh inning when the Cardinals had runners at first and second with two outs. Brendan Ryan tattooed a ball deep to left field, well over the head of Manny Ramirez.

Manny tracked the ball all the way to the warning track when he leaped, and after miss-timing his jump, caught the long drive on his way down right up against the wall; the catch saved at least one and most likely two runs.

Manager Joe Torre showed a bid of confidence in Kershaw by sending him out to start the eighth inning with 101 pitches under his belt. Clayton rewarded Torre by throwing just 11 pitches and striking out two batters in the inning. He made quick work of the St. Louis lineup that pounded out 16 runs in the first two games of the series combined.

Broxton left two sliders out over the plate and his fastball topped out at only 89 MPH as he let the Cardinals tie the game at 1-1.

The side was retired when Russell Martin (who went 0-for-7 at the plate) threw out Rasmus attempting to steal second base, but the damage had been done and the game headed to extra sets.

Los Angeles grabbed the lead again in the 11th inning against All-Star closer Ryan Franklin. Blake and Loney started the inning with back-to-back singles and one out later, Kemp elevated a ball to right field.

The fly was not very deep, but Blake tested the arm of Ludwick and galloped past catcher Yadier Molina to tally just the third run of the series for the Dodgers, and give them a 2-1 lead.

The lead wouldn’t last for long.

Ramon Troncoso, who worked a scoreless 10th inning, came back out for the 11th and gave up a game-tying RBI single to Ludwick, making it a 2-2 game and chasing Troncoso from the contest.

Hong Chi-Kuo came on and struck out the first batter, followed by an outstanding diving catch by Andre Ethier in right field to save the game and end the inning.

In the 12th, Ludwick redeemed himself for the inning before by gunning down Manny trying to score from second base on a Blake single, preserving the tie game.

The Cards had an unlucky break themselves in the bottom of the inning. Joe Thurston laced what appeared to be a one-out hit into the right field corner. However, he missed the first base bag when rounding it, and the Dodgers appealed to have him punched out.

In the 15th, St. Louis had a runner thrown out at home. Mark DeRosa grounded into a 6-2 fielders choice as Furcal threw out Brendan Ryan at home. Martin made an excellent play to block the plate, and despite his poor day at the plate, he made up for it in the field.

Pujols then worked the count to 3-2 before lining a shot over the head of center fielder Matt Kemp to put an end to the marathon four hour and 53 minute affair.

Blake Hawksworth worked three shutout innings for the Cardinals to earn his first Major League victory.

The Dodgers will send right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to the mound tomorrow night for the finale of the four-game tilt. Kuroda (3-5, 4.57 ERA) tossed six innings and allowed three runs in a no decision on Saturday against the Florida Marlins. The Cardinals will counter with Kyle Lohse (4-6, 4.35)

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

R

H

E

LAD

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

2

13

0

STL

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

3

11

0

 

WP: Hawksworth (1-0)

LP: Weaver (5-4)

 

Notes from Wednesday night

Needing to Capitalize

The Dodgers have had the leadoff man on base in 11 of 33 innings in three games against the Cardinals—they have scored just twice in those innings.

 

Two of a Kind

Entering tonight, Clayton Kershaw led the Majors in ERA since Jun. 16 with an ERA of 0.96 In his past nine starts combined, the southpaw from Texas has allowed just five earned runs in 56.2 IP (0.79 ERA) and has lowered his season ERA to 2.76.

Over that time, Joel Pinero, his opposition on the mound tonight, was second with a 1.39 ERA.

 

An Interesting Aside

Blake Hawksworth came on to pitch for the Cardinals in the 13th inning. I used to catch bullpen sessions for him years ago when he was working through the minors.

 

PJ Ross is a Featured Columnist for the Los Angeles Dodgers

Daily Dosage Sports 

Load More Stories

Follow Los Angeles Dodgers from B/R on Facebook

Follow Los Angeles Dodgers from B/R on Facebook and get the latest updates straight to your newsfeed!

Out of Bounds

Los Angeles Dodgers

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.