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Los Angeles at St. Louis

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L.A. Dodgers (60-56)000001000152
St. Louis (54-60) «20300010x690

Ankiel belts two more HRs to lift Cardinals over Dodgers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ST. LOUIS -- Rick Ankiel has a simple message for St. Louis Cardinals fans.

"Don't hold me to days like this," he said.

Ankiel homered twice and drove in three runs, the latest power display by the former pitcher, and the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1 on Saturday.

Ankiel, who scored three times, hit the first pitch he saw in the first and seventh innings to right field, giving him three home runs since he was called up from Triple-A Memphis on Thursday.

After an embarrassing bout of wildness and an arm injury, the one-time phenom scrapped his pitching career during spring training in 2005. He capped his first game back in the majors -- as an outfielder -- with a three-run homer against San Diego on Thursday.

"It's been a lot of fun," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "Everyone is really happy to see him, but this is the big leagues and you need to perform and be productive. There's a lot of good guys, but if they can't play, pretty soon you get somebody else."

The home crowd gave Ankiel a standing ovation and demanded a curtain call -- as they did Thursday -- after his first home run against the Dodgers. The second one was met with a quick doff of the cap, and the right fielder got another standing ovation as he jogged off the field after making two strong defensive plays in the eighth.

"I always believed in myself," he said. "It's just a matter of getting out there, feeling comfortable and letting your talent take over."

Ankiel also singled and scored in a three-run third to help the Cardinals win for the third time in four games.

"You know St. Louis is in a pennant race - they're not just calling this kid up for a feel-good story," Dodgers pitcher Derek Lowe said. "I'm amazed at what he could do. I know I couldn't stop pitching and become a major league hitter. To be able to do what he is doing is a phenomenal story."

Braden Looper (10-9) gave up four hits in six innings to earn his third victory in four starts. The hit total was his lowest since giving up four on July 2 against Arizona.

Looper allowed a single and a double to start the fifth but stranded Nomar Garciaparra and Andre Ethier, who had two doubles, by retiring the next three batters. The Dodgers' only run came with two outs in the sixth. James Loney singled and Luis Gonzalez drove him in with a double to right-center.

Looper's performance -- like Joel Pineiro's seven shutout innings on Thursday -- was overshadowed by Ankiel.

"He hit two home runs today," Looper said. "He's going to overshadow anybody. If he keeps hitting when I start, I don't mind if he takes all the glory. I'll take the win, he can take the press."

The Cardinals took advantage of two errors by Rafael Furcal in the third. Adam Kennedy reached on the shortstop's first miscue to open the inning and scored when Furcal misplayed Albert Pujols' grounder. Jim Edmonds followed Pujols with a two-run single to score Aaron Miles and Ankiel.

Lowe (8-11) dropped his fifth consecutive decision and has not won since June 22 against Tampa Bay. He lasted six innings, giving up five runs -- three earned -- and seven hits.

"It's beyond a long time for me, it's been beyond a frustrating year," Lowe said. "You still have six weeks to hopefully turn something around and make something positive out of the year."

Notes

  • It was Ankiel's first multihomer game.
  • Furcal's errors gave him 17 for the season, most among National League shortstops.
  • Edmonds finished 2-for-4 with a double and has two or more hits in five of his past eight games.
  • Matt Kemp stole a home run from Edmonds in the seventh, jumping at the 400-foot mark in center field and reaching above the wall to deny Edmonds his first home run since June 9.
  • Pujols reached on what originally was called an infield hit in the fifth inning before the umpiring crew met and ruled the ball hit his body before he left the batter's box. He grounded out on the next pitch.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Rick Ankiel finishes 3-for-4 and now has three homers in three games since being called up.  (AP)
Rick Ankiel finishes 3-for-4 and now has three homers in three games since being called up. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

B. Looper
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 3
St. Louis

R. Ankiel
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 3
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS4000010 .277
Russell Martin, C4000020 .295
James Loney, 1B3110100 .322
Luis Gonzalez, LF4011001 .276
Nomar Garciaparra, 3B4010001 .281
Andre Ethier, RF4020010 .299
Juan Pierre, CF2000002 .277
   a- Matt Kemp, PH-CF1000011 .315
Ramon Martinez, 2B3000013 .176
Derek Lowe, P2000002 .146
   b- Mark Sweeney, PH1000001 .250
    Roberto Hernandez, P0000000 .000
    Rudy Seanez, P0000000 .000
Totals3215116  
a-struck out for Pierre in the 7th
b-flied out for Lowe in the 7th
Batting
2B - Luis Gonzalez (20, Looper), Andre Ethier 2 (23, Looper, Johnson)
RBI - Luis Gonzalez (53)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Gonzalez (18)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Andre Ethier 1
DP - Furcal-Loney
E - Rafael Furcal 2 (17, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Derek Lowe (L,8-11) 6753051 3.61
Roberto Hernandez 1111101 5.71
Rudy Seanez 1100010 3.93
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 97-68, Rudy Seanez 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 13-1, Roberto Hernandez 1-2, Rudy Seanez 1-0
Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 26, Roberto Hernandez 5, Rudy Seanez 3
St. Louis Cardinals
Aaron Miles, SS4220001 .286
Rick Ankiel, RF4333000 .417
Albert Pujols, 1B3001100 .311
Jim Edmonds, CF4022001 .244
Chris Duncan, LF4000032 .277
    Brad Thompson, P0000000 .158
Scott Rolen, 3B4010001 .261
Yadier Molina, C4000011 .268
Braden Looper, P2000020 .194
   a- Ryan Ludwick, PH1000000 .249
    Tyler Johnson, P0000000 .000
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
    So Taguchi, LF0000000 .301
Adam Kennedy, 2B3110000 .219
Totals3369616  
a-grounded out for Looper in the 6th
Batting
2B - Jim Edmonds (10, Lowe)
HR - Rick Ankiel 2 (3, Lowe, Hernandez)
RBI - Rick Ankiel 3 (6), Albert Pujols (75), Jim Edmonds 2 (29)
2-OUT RBI - Rick Ankiel (4)
SB - Adam Kennedy (6, 2nd base off Lowe/Martin)
Team LOB - 4
St. Louis Cardinals
Braden Looper (W,10-9) 6411130 5.08
Tyler Johnson0100000 4.10
Russ Springer 1000010 2.89
Ryan Franklin 1000010 1.83
Brad Thompson 1000010 5.16
Pitches-Strikes - Braden Looper 80-50, Tyler Johnson 4-2, Russ Springer 3-2, Ryan Franklin 1-1, Brad Thompson 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Braden Looper 3-12, Russ Springer 1-1, Brad Thompson 1-1
Batters Faced - Braden Looper 23, Tyler Johnson 1, Russ Springer 3, Ryan Franklin 3, Brad Thompson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 44260
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 95
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Gerry Davis