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Los Angeles at St. Louis

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L.A. Dodgers (56-57)0210001206110
St. Louis (64-52) «10250010x9170

Cardinals 9, Dodgers 6

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Ludwick said he simply followed Albert Pujols' lead.

Ludwick tied a franchise record with a home run in his fifth consecutive game, only four pitches after Pujols' grand slam, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-6 on Wednesday.

"The best part about it is we're winning," Ludwick said. "I felt like I had the best seat in the house, following Albert. The guy can flat-out hit."

Pujols' sixth career grand slam and Ludwick's drive during a five-run fourth chased Derek Lowe, who gave up eight runs and 13 hits in only 3 1/3 innings. Ludwick was 3-for-5 with three RBI and Pujols finished 4-for-4 with a walk, while insisting being on the same field as Manny Ramirez served as motivation.

"You can have nine Manny Ramirezes out there and I'm still going to go and play my game," Pujols said. "I don't have to impress Manny Ramirez or 45,000 people. My job is to play hard and help my team to win."

Ramirez hit his 513th home run in the second inning to break a tie with Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews for 20th place on the career list. Ramirez added an RBI single in the third to give the Dodgers an early 3-1 lead, and is batting .600 (12-for-20) with three home runs and six RBI in five games since joining the Dodgers.

Fans booed him before every at-bat, and rode him when he took his time getting back into the box after running out a foul grounder in the sixth.

Joel Pineiro (4-5) needed only 78 pitches to get through seven innings for his first victory in five starts and only his second in 15 appearances since April 29. Pineiro's strong effort bailed out a beleaguered bullpen that blew its major league-leading 27th save on Tuesday, although he unsuccessfully lobbied manager Tony La Russa for another inning.

"I told Tony, 'I'm good to go back out there,' " Pineiro said. "But the decision he made, that's why he's the captain."

In his first year as a full-time starter at age 30, Ludwick is the fifth Cardinals player to homer in five consecutive games and the first since Pujols from Aug. 17-22, 2007. He has totaled six home runs during the streak, including a game-winning two-run shot in the 11th inning off Jason Johnson on Tuesday, and is batting .486 (18-for-37) during a nine-game hitting streak.

The runs allowed were one shy of Lowe's career-worst and the hits matched his career-worst, done twice previously. He also threw a pair of wild pitches -- both times with Ludwick at the plate -- after allowing only two earned runs in 14 1/3 innings his previous two outings.

"Nothing worked all night long," Lowe said. "What else can you say? You can't continually throw flat sinkers out over the plate and expect to get guys out.

"I did it on a regular basis and paid the price. I put the team in a huge hole."

Lowe (8-10) pitched the clinching Game 4 in the 2004 World Series for the Red Sox with seven shutout innings, but in the regular season he's 1-6 with a 6.69 ERA against the Cardinals and 0-3 with an 8.80 ERA in three starts at 3-year-old Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals, who had lost six of seven at home entering the series, have won 10 of their past 11 against the Dodgers at home. Los Angeles is 1-7 at new Busch Stadium.

The Dodgers finished the game under protest after manager Joe Torre burned pinch hitter Mark Sweeney, replacing him with Jeff Kent during a two-run eighth. Sweeney had stepped into the batter's box, so he had to come out, and Torre and La Russa took turns discussing the situation with the umpires while the game was delayed for several minutes.

La Russa did change pitchers after the game resumed, and rookie Chris Perez caught Kent on a called third strike and Angel Berroa on an infield pop-up to end the inning.

Perez also worked the ninth for his first career save in two chances, although La Russa wasn't ready to anoint him the successor to struggling Jason Isringhausen.

"I don't think Chris needs to hear he's the next Bruce Sutter yet," La Russa said. "Like I say, under the radar screen for a while."

Notes

Rick Ankiel missed his 10th consecutive start with an abdominal strain and manager Tony La Russa doesn't when he'll be ready. "He ran at 75 percent and that's still 25 percent to get well, so I don't know if he's going to be ready by Friday, either," the manager said. ... Other Cardinals to go deep in five consecutive games are Jim Edmonds (2004), Rip Collins (1935) and Jim Bottomley (1929). ... Mark McGwire connected in six straight for the Cardinals, but over two seasons in 1997 and 1998, connecting in the first four games during his then-record 70-homer season in '98.

 
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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Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 4
Los Angeles

M. Ramirez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
Matt Kemp, CF5121001 .295
Andre Ethier, RF5000013 .271
Russell Martin, C5110012 .293
Manny Ramirez, LF4122001 .314
James Loney, 1B4111001 .299
Casey Blake, 3B4031000 .299
Pablo Ozuna, 2B3100002 .263
   a- Mark Sweeney, PH0000000 .114
   b- Jeff Kent, PH-2B1000011 .256
Angel Berroa, SS4121002 .216
Derek Lowe, P2000012 .178
    Ramon Troncoso, P0000000 .000
   c- Andruw Jones, PH1000001 .164
    Brian Falkenborg, P0000000 .000
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
    Chan Ho Park, P0000000 .000
   d- Juan Pierre, PH0000100 .279
Totals38611614  
a-announced for Ozuna in the 8th
b-struck out for Sweeney in the 8th
c-grounded out for Troncoso in the 7th
d-walked for Park in the 9th
Batting
2B - Matt Kemp (26, Pineiro), James Loney (28, Thompson), Casey Blake 2 (30, Pineiro, Thompson), Angel Berroa (5, Pineiro)
3B - Angel Berroa (1, Pineiro)
HR - Manny Ramirez (23, Pineiro)
RBI - Matt Kemp (61), Manny Ramirez 2 (75), James Loney (63), Casey Blake (62), Angel Berroa (5)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Kemp (28), Manny Ramirez (34), Angel Berroa (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Blake-Ozuna-Loney
Los Angeles Dodgers
Derek Lowe (L,8-10) 3.11388022 4.10
Ramon Troncoso 2.2100220 4.56
Brian Falkenborg 0.1111000 6.17
Joe Beimel 0.2100110 1.97
Chan Ho Park 1100000 2.70
IBB - Izturis by Joe Beimel
WP - Derek Lowe 2 (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 65-44, Ramon Troncoso 36-24, Brian Falkenborg 11-7, Joe Beimel 16-9, Chan Ho Park 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 6-1, Ramon Troncoso 3-2, Chan Ho Park 1-2
Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 22, Ramon Troncoso 10, Brian Falkenborg 2, Joe Beimel 4, Chan Ho Park 4
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, CF5011002 .302
Adam Kennedy, 2B5220012 .274
Albert Pujols, 1B4244100 .352
Ryan Ludwick, RF5232002 .307
Troy Glaus, 3B4010114 .272
Yadier Molina, C5011012 .307
Felipe Lopez, LF3010002 .235
    Joe Mather, LF1110000 .253
Joel Pineiro, P2110010 .108
   a- Rick Ankiel, PH1000011 .282
    Brad Thompson, P0000000 .143
    Chris Perez, P0000000 .000
Cesar Izturis, SS3120101 .239
Totals38917835  
a-struck out for Pineiro in the 7th
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (27, Lowe)
HR - Albert Pujols (23, Lowe), Ryan Ludwick (29, Lowe)
SH - Joel Pineiro (1)
RBI - Skip Schumaker (34), Albert Pujols 4 (73), Ryan Ludwick 2 (82), Yadier Molina (42)
2-OUT RBI - Skip Schumaker (12), Ryan Ludwick (33), Yadier Molina (27)
SB - Joe Mather (1, 2nd base off Beimel/Martin)
Team LOB - 9
St. Louis Cardinals
Joel Pineiro (W,4-5) 7844021 5.04
Brad Thompson 0.1322000 4.19
Chris Perez (S,1) 1.2000120 3.91
WP - Brad Thompson (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 78-59, Brad Thompson 16-11, Chris Perez 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 14-5, Chris Perez 2-1
Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 29, Brad Thompson 4, Chris Perez 6
Game Information
Attendance - 42581
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Bill Welke