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St. Louis at Los Angeles

Scoreboard
St. Louis (68-52) «000100200360
L.A. Dodgers (70-49)100010000251

Ankiel's seventh-inning blast lifts Cards past Dodgers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- Although Ryan Franklin graciously accepted his teammates' congratulations in the Dodger Stadium clubhouse for his 30th save, the St. Louis closer thought the spotlight should be on Chris Carpenter's setup work.

"The last two outs were pretty tough, but the first 24 that he got were even tougher," Franklin said with a laugh.

Rick Ankiel put St. Louis ahead with a two-run homer in the seventh inning, and Carpenter pitched eight innings of five-hit ball in the Cardinals' ninth victory in 10 games, 3-2 against the Dodgers on Monday night.

Albert Pujols hit his major league-leading 39th home run as the Cardinals opened a seven-game California road trip by persevering against knuckleballer Charlie Haeger, who was largely outstanding in his debut for Los Angeles.

 Kuroda to miss start; Dodgers encouraged with recovery

Carpenter (13-3) fell behind twice, but Pujols and Ankiel connected to ensure his fifth consecutive victory. The Cardinals moved to within 2½ games of the Dodgers' overall NL lead, Carpenter claims he doesn't pay much attention to the standings.

"I don't know what our numbers are," said Carpenter, 5-0 in six career starts against the Dodgers. "I don't know what our record is. I do know we've got a chance to win every time we come to the ballpark, and that's exciting. You can't not get excited about a game like this in a ballpark like this against a team like this."

Carpenter is a big reason for the Cardinals' surge, going 8-0 with a 2.12 ERA in his nine starts since July began.

Ankiel homered after Haeger (0-1) hit Ryan Ludwick with a pitch, sending a knuckleball that didn't knuckle deep into the right-field corner. Ankiel was in a 1-for-17 slump before his ninth home run of the season.

"There's no yellow light, there's no warning sign, if the knuckleball decides to tumble to the wrong guy," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

Franklin really had to earn his landmark save, getting Manny Ramirez on a first-pitch popout and retiring Casey Blake on a fly to the fringe of the warning track.

"I know they've both hit me pretty hard in the past," Franklin said. "I've tried to get a little smarter. ... If you were going to ask me at the start of the year if I was going to have 30 saves, I would have said, 'I hope.' That's a pretty big deal."

James Loney had an RBI single in the fifth for the Dodgers, who opened a tough seven-game homestand with their fourth loss in five games. With numerous pitching woes and an inconsistent lineup, Los Angeles is three games below .500 since the All-Star break.

"You've got to give him credit," Ramirez said of Carpenter. "He didn't make a lot of mistakes out there, and when you've got a Cy Young-type pitcher like that pitching and he doesn't make mistakes, he's going to be tough to hit."

With Jason Schmidt and Hiroki Kuroda out of the rotation with injuries, the Dodgers used Haeger as their 10th starting pitcher of the season. Haeger appeared in 19 games over the past three seasons with the White Sox and San Diego before winning 11 games this year in the thin air of Albuquerque, which he compared to "pitching on the Moon."

Haeger was solid, but the Cardinals' big hits were enormous.

"I'd like to have those two back, obviously," said Haeger, who doesn't yet have a nameplate over his locker. "But I felt good out there, and I was able to throw strikes and get some early contact. There's certain instances where I can kind of command the ball on either side of the plate, but in those cases tonight, a couple got away from me, especially that one to Ludwick. If I don't hit him, the game's still tied."

He retired St. Louis' first eight batters before Carpenter's single ricocheted off third base. Pujols led off the fourth with a high shot to left field, but Haeger retired the next 10 Cardinals.

Matt Holliday, who went 1 for 4, fouled a pitch off his leg in the ninth, but stayed at the plate after examination from the training staff. He beat out an infield single before leaving the game for pinch-runner Colby Rasmus, and manager Tony La Russa planned to wait until Tuesday afternoon to decide whether he'll play.

Notes

  • Brad Ausmus started for the Dodgers because of his previous experience catching knuckleballers. Russell Martin took over in the ninth inning and made a throwing error, Los Angeles' first error in nine games.
  • Ankiel's home run was his first since July 30, also against Los Angeles.
  • The Cardinals took three of four from the Dodgers in St. Louis last month.
 
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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Mired in a 1-for-17 slump, Rick Ankiel hits a deciding two-run shot in the seventh inning.  (AP)
Mired in a 1-for-17 slump, Rick Ankiel hits a deciding two-run shot in the seventh inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

C. Carpenter
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 1
K 8
Los Angeles

M. Kemp
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 0
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B3010000 .296
   a- Julio Lugo, PH-2B1000000 .309
Brendan Ryan, SS4000002 .285
Albert Pujols, 1B4111010 .325
Matt Holliday, LF4010000 .320
    Colby Rasmus, PR-CF0000000 .259
Ryan Ludwick, RF3100011 .266
Rick Ankiel, CF-LF4112010 .234
Mark DeRosa, 3B4000011 .258
Yadier Molina, C3010010 .294
Chris Carpenter, P3010001 .140
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Totals3336305  
a-fouled out for Schumaker in the 8th
Batting
HR - Albert Pujols (39, Haeger), Rick Ankiel (9, Haeger)
RBI - Albert Pujols (105), Rick Ankiel 2 (33)
SB - Colby Rasmus (2, 3rd base off Broxton/Martin)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ryan Ludwick 1
DP - Ludwick-DeRosa
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter (W,13-3) 8522180 2.27
Trever Miller (H,9) 0.1000000 1.91
Ryan Franklin (S,30) 0.2000000 1.16
IBB - Ramirez by Chris Carpenter
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 110-69, Trever Miller 1-1, Ryan Franklin 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 6-9, Trever Miller 1-0
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 29, Trever Miller 1, Ryan Franklin 2
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS4110012 .262
Orlando Hudson, 2B4000012 .290
Andre Ethier, RF4010000 .281
Manny Ramirez, LF3000100 .310
Casey Blake, 3B3001010 .279
Matt Kemp, CF3110020 .312
James Loney, 1B3011010 .279
Brad Ausmus, C2000001 .312
   a- Juan Pierre, PH1010000 .321
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
Charlie Haeger, P2000021 .000
    Hong-Chih Kuo, P0000000 .000
   b- Russell Martin, PH-C0000000 .261
Totals2925218  
a-singled for Ausmus in the 8th
b-hit a sacrifice bunt for Kuo in the 8th
Batting
2B - Andre Ethier (30, Carpenter), Matt Kemp (20, Carpenter)
SF - Casey Blake (10)
SH - Russell Martin (2)
RBI - Casey Blake (66), James Loney (70)
SB - James Loney (7, 2nd base off Carpenter/Molina)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Russell Martin (6, Throwing)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Charlie Haeger (L,0-1) 7533022 3.86
Hong-Chih Kuo 1000010 3.77
Jonathan Broxton 1100020 3.19
HBP - Ludwick (by Charlie Haeger)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Haeger 80-61, Hong-Chih Kuo 9-8, Jonathan Broxton 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Haeger 12-7, Jonathan Broxton 1-0
Batters Faced - Charlie Haeger 27, Hong-Chih Kuo 3, Jonathan Broxton 4
Game Information
Attendance - 49415
Game Time - 2:20
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Adrian Johnson