|St. Louis (33-27)||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0||3||6||0|
|L.A. Dodgers (36-24) «||2||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||x||4||9||0|
LOS ANGELES -- Jonathan Broxton got another save, this one with the help of a fortuitous bounce on the warning track and the short fences at Dodger Stadium.
Albert Pujols had to hold up at third on a two-out ground-rule double by Yadier Molina, and Broxton retired Randy Winn on a grounder to preserve a 4-3 victory for Los Angeles against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. Molina's opposite-field drive to right-center fell just out of the reach of Gold Glove center fielder Matt Kemp, who lunged for the ball before it hopped over the 8-foot wall.
"Usually he doesn't hit balls too deep to right field. If he hits the ball deep, it's going to be to left-center, so he kind of surprised us," Kemp said. "He got good wood on it and it kept carrying. I'm just glad it didn't hit my glove and that it bounced over the wall, because Pujols would have scored and the game would have been tied."
The save was Broxton's 16th in 18 attempts, and certainly one of his shakiest this season.
"There's no question that was a big break on our part," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I wondered if Kemp was playing deep enough when Yadier got up there. But as it turned out, it worked out fine for us. I said to Kemp: 'I'm glad you didn't catch up to it.' "
James Loney tied a career high with four hits, helping Los Angeles extend St. Louis' losing streak to a season-worst four games and dropping the Cardinals one game behind first-place Cincinnati in the NL Central.
The Dodgers' 23rd victory in 30 games increased their NL West lead to one game on the San Diego Padres, who were rained out in New York.
Clayton Kershaw (6-3) struck out 10 in seven innings, the fifth time he has reached double digits in 64 big-league starts. The 22-year-old left-hander fanned six of his first 10 batters before giving up a three-run homer to Ryan Ludwick that sliced the Dodgers' lead to 4-3 in the fourth. It snapped Kershaw's streak of 43 homerless innings.
"The one pitch to Ludwick I'd like to have back, obviously," Kershaw said. "He did what he was supposed to do with a hanging breaking ball."
Ludwick nearly put the Cardinals ahead in the sixth, but his bid for a two-run homer was caught by Ramirez a couple of feet from the left-field fence.
"Russell (catcher Russell Martin) said it got in on him just enough. But he's strong and he's got some pop," Kershaw said. "It was another pitch I just missed up, and he almost made me pay again."
This was the first time the Dodgers swept St. Louis at home in a three-game series since July 1988, the year of their most recent World Series title. The only other season that the Cardinals failed to win a game at Dodger Stadium during the regular season was 1976 (0-6).
Adam Wainwright (8-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and a season-high five walks in six innings. The right-hander, who retired the final 18 Milwaukee batters he faced last Friday in a two-hitter to record his first shutout in the majors, fell behind 4-0 after three innings against the Dodgers.
The four earned runs against Wainwright tied a season worst and matched his combined total from his previous four starts.
"We made him work. We worked counts and got walks," Kemp said. "He had to throw strikes to get ahead, and he wasn't getting ahead in the beginning and we made him pay."
Ramirez opened the scoring in the first, driving a 2-1 pitch to right-center for his 551st career home run and fifth this season after a two-out double by Andre Ethier.
"I was behind in the count a lot early on," Wainwright said. "They have some great hitters over there, so you've got to get ahead of them and not put yourself in hitter's counts continuously, like I did. Ethier and Manny just made good swings on me in the first inning. Those weren't terrible pitches -- not exactly the pitch I'm trying to throw, but not pitches that usually get hit in the gap and get hit for home runs."
DeWitt increased the margin to 4-0 in the third with a two-run single before the Cardinals answered back with Ludwick's 10th home run and third of the series. Ludwick is hitting .467 with runners in scoring position, the best mark in the majors.
|Manny Ramirez gets the Dodgers on the board in the first inning with his fifth home run of the season. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Felipe Lopez, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.263|
|Aaron Miles, 3B||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.300|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||0||2||.306|
|Matt Holliday, LF||3||1||0||0||1||2||3||.295|
|Ryan Ludwick, RF||4||1||1||3||0||0||2||.292|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.249|
|Randy Winn, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.230|
|Skip Schumaker, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||3||0||.238|
|Adam Wainwright, P||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||.114|
|Jason Motte, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- David Freese, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.311|
|b- Colby Rasmus, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.292|
|Mitchell Boggs, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-announced for Motte in the 8th|
|b-struck out for Freese in the 8th|
|2B - Yadier Molina (9, Broxton)|
|HR - Ryan Ludwick (10, Kershaw)|
|RBI - Ryan Ludwick 3 (34)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Adam Wainwright (L,8-4)||6||8||4||4||5||6||1||2.30|
|IBB - Martin by Adam Wainwright|
|Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 113-66, Jason Motte 16-11, Mitchell Boggs 13-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 6-5, Jason Motte 2-0, Mitchell Boggs 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 30, Jason Motte 5, Mitchell Boggs 3|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||4||0||0||0||1||1||0||.294|
|Matt Kemp, CF||4||0||0||0||1||1||2||.275|
|Andre Ethier, RF||4||1||2||0||0||1||2||.364|
|Manny Ramirez, LF||2||2||1||2||2||1||1||.281|
|Reed Johnson, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.314|
|James Loney, 1B||4||1||4||0||0||0||0||.291|
|Casey Blake, 3B||2||0||0||0||1||1||1||.266|
|Blake DeWitt, 2B||4||0||1||2||0||2||5||.280|
|Ronald Belisario, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jonathan Broxton, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Russell Martin, C||3||0||1||0||1||0||3||.251|
|Clayton Kershaw, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||3||.091|
|Jamey Carroll, 2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.291|
|2B - Andre Ethier (17, Wainwright), James Loney (16, Wainwright)|
|HR - Manny Ramirez (5, Wainwright)|
|SH - Casey Blake (3), Clayton Kershaw (5)|
|RBI - Manny Ramirez 2 (28), Blake DeWitt 2 (22)|
|2-OUT RBI - Manny Ramirez 2 (9)|
|CS - Matt Kemp (9, 2nd base by Wainwright/Molina)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - Blake-DeWitt-Loney|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Clayton Kershaw (W,6-3)||7||4||3||3||2||10||1||3.13|
|Ronald Belisario (H,10)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||5.01|
|Jonathan Broxton (S,16)||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||0.95|
|Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 113-72, Ronald Belisario 11-6, Jonathan Broxton 12-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 5-5, Ronald Belisario 1-1, Jonathan Broxton 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 26, Ronald Belisario 3, Jonathan Broxton 5|
|Attendance - 43299|
|Game Time - 2:45|
|Temperature - 67|
|Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Dana DeMuth|