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Rasmus knocks walk-off homer off Padres' Bell in ninth

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Heath Bell's first appearance in St. Louis since taking the All-Star Game loss last month was a lot more excruciating.

Colby Rasmus' two-run homer capped a three-run ninth inning off a Padres closer who's nearly perfect outside St. Louis, giving the Cardinals a 7-5 victory and a three-game sweep on Sunday.

"The toughest way to beat that club is to score runs late," manager Tony La Russa said. "Kind of magical there."

Adrian Gonzalez hit his 32nd homer and singled three times for the Padres, who have lost five straight and have dropped nine in a row in St. Louis. Bell (4-2) blew only his second save in 31 chances and first since May 30 against the Rockies, retiring only one batter.

Bell gave up the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of the All-Star Game on July 14 on a triple by Curtis Granderson and Adam Jones' sacrifice fly.

"The last time I was here it was fun, exciting, and it didn't mean anything," Bell said. "Today it meant something and I'm really ticked off.

"I wasn't thinking of the All-Star Game one bit, I was just out there trying to get San Diego another victory."

Bell took a ground ball off his right leg earlier in the inning on a comebacker by Mark DeRosa but wouldn't use that as an excuse.

"Yeah, it was throbbing but I blocked it out pretty good," Bell said. "I was surprised how big it was when I took my pants off."

Trever Miller (4-0) had a strikeout in a scoreless ninth for the NL Central leaders, who have won eight of nine and are a season-best 15 games above .500 with a five-game lead over the Cubs.

Rasmus hit his 12th homer on an 0-1 curveball from Bell, who gave up a game-tying single to Yadier Molina the previous at-bat. It's the second walk-off homer for the rookie, who also beat the Giants July 1 at home, and also his first homer since July 7.

Rasmus is the first St. Louis rookie to hit two game-winning homers since Bill Virdon in 1955.

The sudden finish followed two rain delays totaling 2 hours and 19 minutes after being in jeopardy earlier in the day due to an overnight power shortage. Power was restored about three hours before game time.

"It doesn't get much better than that, especially with the long day," Rasmus said. "Glad to a part of it."

Gonzalez is batting .568 (21 for 37) during an eight-game hitting streak and .460 overall in August. He homered twice in the series and leads the majors with 22 homers on the road.

Albert Pujols lined an RBI single off the center field wall in the third, although he was an easy out at second when the ball caromed right to Tony Gwynn Jr., and is batting .488 (19 for 43) during an 11-game hitting streak. Molina added an RBI double and three walks to wind up an 9 for 20 homestand, a night after picking off his seventh runner of the season.

Luis Rodriguez had an RBI single and pinch hitter Oscar Salazar followed with a sacrifice fly in a two-run sixth off Lohse that put the Padres ahead 6-5. Lohse, who ended a four-game losing streak since coming off the DL from a forearm injury in his last outing, allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings.

"I felt great the first four innings," Lohse said. "The sixth inning, the slider was terrible. It's the pitch I depended on early in the game."

The first two Padres pitchers were struck by batted balls. Starter Clayton Richard absorbed Matt Holliday's shot up the middle in the third, recovering to make the throw to first to end the inning. Edward Mujica also turned personal pain into an out after absorbing Albert Pujols' shot off the right knee with the bases loaded to end the fourth.

Mujica tried to run off the field before collapsing near the third base line, although he eventually limped to the dugout. A team spokesman said Mujica had a bruise on the back of the knee.

Pujols' strong throw from first base prevented the Padres from going ahead in the fifth, barely beating Everth Cabrera running from third on Gonzalez' tapper.

Richard issued a season-high six walks in 3 2/3 innings, including Julio Lugo on five pitches with the bases loaded in the fourth, allowing the Cardinals to tie it at 3. Richard walked three and gave up an RBI single to Lohse in the fourth.

Notes

  • Both starters had an RBI, Richard on a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Lohse on a single in the fourth.
  • Pujols has nine seasons with a .300 average, 30 homers, 30 doubles and 100 RBI, tied with Lou Gehrig for the best in history.
 
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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Colby Rasmus is the first Cardinals rookie since 1955 to hit two walk-off homers in a season.  (US Presswire)
Colby Rasmus is the first Cardinals rookie since 1955 to hit two walk-off homers in a season. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

Y. Molina
AB 2
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
San Diego

A. Gonzalez
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 1
RBI 1
 
San Diego Padres
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF5010023 .279
Everth Cabrera, SS5010012 .273
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B5141000 .279
Chase Headley, LF4110103 .258
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B4000013 .261
Kyle Blanks, RF-LF4220021 .244
Henry Blanco, C4121000 .239
Luis Rodriguez, 2B3011100 .214
    Mike Adams, P0000000 .000
    Will Venable, RF0000000 .270
Clayton Richard, P1001010 .167
    Edward Mujica, P00000001.000
    Luis Perdomo, P0000000 .000
   a- Oscar Salazar, PH0001000 .339
    Greg Burke, P0000000 .000
    Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
   b- David Eckstein, PH-2B1000000 .260
Totals36512527  
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Perdomo in the 6th
b-grounded out for Gregerson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Adrian Gonzalez (21, Miller), Kyle Blanks (9, Lohse)
HR - Adrian Gonzalez (32, Lohse)
SF - Clayton Richard (1), Oscar Salazar (1)
RBI - Adrian Gonzalez (72), Henry Blanco (13), Luis Rodriguez (15), Clayton Richard (2), Oscar Salazar (11)
SB - Everth Cabrera (17, 3rd base off Lohse/Molina), Luis Rodriguez (1, 2nd base off Reyes/Molina)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Tony Gwynn Jr. 1
San Diego Padres
Clayton Richard 3.2633610 4.66
Edward Mujica 0.1000000 3.43
Luis Perdomo 1211100 4.40
Greg Burke (H,9) 1100010 4.10
Luke Gregerson (H,14) 1000120 3.61
Mike Adams (H,9) 1100100 0.68
Heath Bell (BS,2; L,4-2) 0.1333001 2.31
IBB - Rasmus by Luis Perdomo
WP - Clayton Richard (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Richard 93-48, Edward Mujica 3-1, Luis Perdomo 31-16, Greg Burke 20-13, Luke Gregerson 13-8, Mike Adams 18-10, Heath Bell 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Richard 5-2, Edward Mujica 1-0, Luis Perdomo 1-2, Greg Burke 1-1, Mike Adams 2-1, Heath Bell 1-0
Batters Faced - Clayton Richard 20, Edward Mujica 1, Luis Perdomo 6, Greg Burke 4, Luke Gregerson 4, Mike Adams 5, Heath Bell 4
St. Louis Cardinals
Brendan Ryan, SS2120200 .290
   a- Rick Ankiel, PH-LF1010000 .234
Julio Lugo, 2B-SS2001201 .310
Albert Pujols, 1B4011115 .325
Matt Holliday, LF5010003 .320
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
Ryan Ludwick, RF5120002 .268
Mark DeRosa, 3B5220011 .260
Yadier Molina, C2222300 .294
Colby Rasmus, CF4112124 .259
Kyle Lohse, P3011003 .207
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
    Blake Hawksworth, P0000000 .000
   b- Skip Schumaker, PH-2B1000000 .295
Totals34713794  
a-singled for Ryan in the 8th
b-grounded out for Hawksworth in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mark DeRosa (16, Richard), Yadier Molina (16, Perdomo)
HR - Colby Rasmus (12, Bell)
SH - Julio Lugo (3)
RBI - Julio Lugo (14), Albert Pujols (104), Yadier Molina 2 (41), Colby Rasmus 2 (40), Kyle Lohse (2)
2-OUT RBI - Julio Lugo (5), Yadier Molina (17), Kyle Lohse (2)
CS - Brendan Ryan (6, 2nd base by Richard/Blanco), Mark DeRosa (2, Home by Richard/Blanco)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Ryan-Lugo-Pujols
E - Yadier Molina (3, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
Kyle Lohse 5.1955251 4.58
Dennys Reyes 0.2200000 4.28
Blake Hawksworth 2000010 2.28
Trever Miller (W,4-0) 1100010 1.93
IBB - Rodriguez by Kyle Lohse
WP - Kyle Lohse (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 104-67, Dennys Reyes 15-8, Blake Hawksworth 20-14, Trever Miller 14-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 5-6, Dennys Reyes 1-1, Blake Hawksworth 2-2, Trever Miller 2-0
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 27, Dennys Reyes 4, Blake Hawksworth 5, Trever Miller 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40812
Game Time - 3:28
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Ron Kulpa