Arizona at St. Louis

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Arizona (79-77)000201010480
St. Louis (80-76) «40001020x7111

Cards eliminated while Lohse dampens D-Backs' playoff hopes

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Randy Johnson looked his age against the St. Louis Cardinals, who put a big dent in the Arizona Diamondbacks' postseason aspirations.

Kyle Lohse won his 15th game and the Cardinals clobbered the 45-year-old left-hander for the second time this month in a 7-4 victory Tuesday night. Johnson and the Diamondbacks trailed by four runs after the first inning.

"It was one bad inning," Johnson said. "I shut them down the rest of the night, essentially. I don't know what more I can say."

Ryan Ludwick hit a three-run homer in the first and Albert Pujols had two hits, two RBI and reached 100 walks for the first time in his career for the Cardinals, who won for the third time in 13 games.

The 2006 World Series champions were eliminated from postseason contention for the second straight season in the top of the seventh when New York beat Chicago. They are, however, guaranteed a .500 finish that lets manager Tony La Russa off the hook from his pre-game jest that he would "walk from here to California" if they ended with a losing record.

"If you'd have told this club we were going into the last week of the season in contention for an October spot, I think a lot of people wouldn't have believed it," La Russa said. "And a lot of people in our clubhouse would have felt good we were that competitive."

St. Louis bunched five of its seven hits off Johnson (10-10) in the first and then hung on after Lohse (15-6) allowed a two-run homer to Chris Young in the fourth and a solo shot to Miguel Montero in the sixth.

Conor Jackson added three hits for the Diamondbacks, who never got closer than a two-run deficit while losing for the second time in nine games. Arizona entered the night two games behind first-place Los Angeles in the NL West and has five games to play.

"I'm sure they're happy in Dodger Stadium, and that's not our thinking," La Russa said. "We're just playing to compete against whoever it is."

Johnson is just six victories short of the 300 club, but is 6-7 with a 4.12 ERA for his career against the Cardinals in 15 starts. He is 0-2 in his last seven appearances overall this season, a stretch that includes a Sept. 1 start against St. Louis in Arizona in which he allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Johnson lasted six innings, giving up five runs and seven hits and had only one strikeout to match his season low.

"I haven't been this frustrated since 2004," Johnson said. "Without a doubt it's been frustrating since the All-Star break for me."

Lohse escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first en route to setting a career best for victories, topping his previous high of 14 with Minnesota in 2003. He allowed three runs in six innings and has won his last two starts after going 0-3 with four no-decisions in a span of seven outings.

"Everybody in here wants to finish strong," Lohse said. "After the last month we've had we don't want to leave doubts in anybody's minds that we're just going through the motions."

Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said the first inning was crucial.

"Our at-bats weren't bad as the game went along," Melvin said. "But that was the biggest opportunity that we had and probably would have had the most effect on the game."

Pujols is batting .350, second in the National League, after going 2-for-3, and he is 9-for-20 against Johnson with three homers and 10 RBI. He is the only player in major league history with 30 homers and 100 RBI in the first eight seasons, and topped his previous season best of 99 walks last year on an intentional pass from Johnson with two outs and a runner on second in the fifth.

Felipe Lopez added his second straight three-hit game for the Cardinals, drove in a run and scored twice.

Ryan Franklin got the last four outs for his 16th save in 23 chances.

Notes

  • Pujols entered the game in a 2-for-19 slump.
  • Lopez is batting .476 (10-for-21) against the Diamondbacks and is hitting .366 since signing with the Cardinals on Aug. 6 after being released by Washington.
  • Arizona 2B David Eckstein, the Cardinals' 2006 World Series MVP making his first appearances in St. Louis as a visiting player, drew another hearty cheer from a crowd of 40,013 before his first at-bat.
  • The last Cardinal to get 100 walks was Jim Edmonds, who drew 101 in 2004.
  • Four of Montero's five homers have come on the road.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Yuck. Randy Johnson gets rocked in the first, pushing the D-Backs a step closer to elimination. (AP)
Yuck. Randy Johnson gets rocked in the first, pushing the D-Backs a step closer to elimination. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Arizona

C. Young
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Augie Ojeda, 3B4010010 .247
Conor Jackson, LF4130001 .302
Adam Dunn, 1B3000113 .236
Justin Upton, RF3110113 .253
Chris Young, CF3113013 .248
Miguel Montero, C4111001 .254
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Randy Johnson, P2000000 .149
   a- Jeff Salazar, PH1000000 .210
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Totals3448425  
a-flied out for R. Johnson in the 7th
b-grounded out for Pena in the 9th
Batting
2B - Justin Upton (18, Lohse)
HR - Chris Young (21, Lohse), Miguel Montero (5, Lohse)
SF - Chris Young (5)
RBI - Chris Young 3 (82), Miguel Montero (18)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Montero (8)
SB - Conor Jackson (10, 2nd base off Perez/LaRue)
Team LOB - 6
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DP - Drew-Eckstein-Dunn, Montero-Ojeda
Arizona Diamondbacks
Randy Johnson (L,10-10) 6755211 4.11
Jon Rauch 1422010 4.14
Doug Slaten 0.1000010 4.73
Tony Pena 0.2000000 4.04
IBB - Pujols by Randy Johnson
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 99-63, Jon Rauch 22-14, Doug Slaten 3-3, Tony Pena 4-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 8-8, Tony Pena 1-1
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 26, Jon Rauch 6, Doug Slaten 1, Tony Pena 2
St. Louis Cardinals
Cesar Izturis, SS4220001 .258
Felipe Lopez, 2B-3B4231000 .272
Albert Pujols, 1B3122100 .350
Troy Glaus, 3B4011004 .266
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Ryan Ludwick, CF-RF3113122 .294
Nick Stavinoha, RF2010000 .212
    Skip Schumaker, CF1000010 .303
Brian Barton, LF4000002 .274
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    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
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    Aaron Miles, 2B1000000 .310
Jason LaRue, C2000000 .225
Totals31711723  
a-lined out for Lohse in the 6th
Batting
2B - Felipe Lopez (26, R. Johnson)
HR - Ryan Ludwick (35, R. Johnson)
SH - Nick Stavinoha (1), Jason LaRue (3)
RBI - Felipe Lopez (40), Albert Pujols 2 (108), Troy Glaus (94), Ryan Ludwick 3 (106)
2-OUT RBI - Felipe Lopez (20)
SB - Cesar Izturis (23, 2nd base off R. Johnson/Montero)
CS - Albert Pujols (3, 3rd base by Rauch/Montero)
Team LOB - 4
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E - Ryan Ludwick (3, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
Kyle Lohse (W,15-6) 6733132 3.78
Jason Motte (H,2) 1111010 1.13
Ron Villone 0.1000000 4.81
Chris Perez 0.1000100 3.63
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WP - Chris Perez (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 82-53, Jason Motte 17-10, Ron Villone 1-1, Chris Perez 8-3, Ryan Franklin 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 7-8, Ryan Franklin 2-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 26, Jason Motte 4, Ron Villone 1, Chris Perez 2, Ryan Franklin 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40013
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Ed Rapuano