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Dodgers-Cardinals: Broxton Slips Up in Ninth, L.A. Loses 3-2

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Dodgers-Cardinals: Broxton Slips Up in Ninth, L.A. Loses 3-2

In a playoff-like atmosphere at Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 3-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals, dropping two out of three in the series and five out of seven in the season series.

Making things even worse, both the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants were victorious on the night, slimming the L.A. lead to three-and-a-half games on the Rockies and four-and-a-half on the Giants.

Andre Ethier and Casey Blake each launched solo home runs in the bottom of the seventh to knot the game at 2-2, but the game-tying homers weren’t enough.

The Dodgers (71-50) called on Jonathan Broxton to preserve the tie game, but he allowed a run to score in the ninth to give the Cardinals (69-53) a 3-2 win.

Clayton Kershaw couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning as a tough Cardinals lineup battled him and fouled off pitch after pitch.

The determination of the Cards to foul pitches off and their ability to hang tight deep into the count knocked Kershaw out of his comfort zone and forced four walks from the youngster.

After Mark DeRosa singled to start the fourth, Yadier Molina worked an eight pitch at-bat, five of which he fouled off, and eventually doubled to score DeRosa and nudge the Cards in front 1-0.

St. Louis would extend the lead to 2-0 on a Brendan Ryan RBI single three batters later, which chased Kershaw after 97 pitches and just three-and-two-thirds innings.

James McDonald came in to relieve Kershaw and drilled Albert Pujols in the hip with his first offering, drawing a menacing glare from the slugger and loading the bases.

McDonald would come back to get Matt Holliday to fly out to right and end the inning with the bases full.

On the night, the Cardinals left 12 men on base, eight men in the first four innings, which kept the Dodgers in the game and led to the seventh inning rally.

Each homer came on a hanging breaking ball and took Kershaw off the hook for the loss.

The Blue Crew squandered two golden opportunities in the next two innings when they put the leadoff man on base but were unable to score.

In the eighth, Orlando Hudson led off with a walk and then Joe Torre pinch-hit Tony Abreu, who was recalled from triple-A today, to place a bunt down with Hudson on first.

Abreu bunted foul on the first pitch, but then Torre took off the bunt sign.

Abreu eventually struck out, bringing question to Torre’s decision to shy away from the sacrifice bunt, leaving the door open for the Cardinals to take a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning.

Broxton entered and issued a leadoff walk to Pujols, who stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Holliday.

Broxton, who tossed one-and-a-third innings last night, also worked two nights ago, leaving Dodger fans wondering why he was even in the game at the time.

The bullpen had worked four-and-one-third innings of two-hit, shutout baseball before Broxton surrendered the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the ninth, Ethier led off being hit by a pitch.

Manny Ramirez broke his bat and grounded out to shortstop, Blake popped out to short, and James Loney flew out to left field to give Ryan Franklin his 31st save of the season.

Following the loss the Dodgers are 13-14 against the NL Central and will have to rebound tomorrow, welcoming the Chicago Cubs into town for a four-game series.

 

 

 

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WP: McClellan (4-2)

LP: Broxton (7-1)

SV: Franklin (31)

 

Notes from Wednesday night

 

Ethier Continues to Streak

Andre Ethier, who went 3-for-4 last night, hit a home run that kept him on a torrid hot streak. Over his past seven games, Ethier is batting .381 (16-for-32) with two homers, a triple, five doubles, and nine RBI.

 

Rare Home Runs

Adam Wainwright had allowed one home run in his past 80 innings—until Andre Ethier and Casey Blake both homered in the seventh.

 

PJ Ross is a Featured Columnist for the Los Angeles Dodgers

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