|St. Louis (22-17)||0||0||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||5||6||1|
|L.A. Dodgers (26-13) «||0||3||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||6||13||2|
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen made a huge mistake with a one-run lead in the ninth inning to Lance Berkman, and was relieved it didn't turn out to be as costly as it seemed to be at the time.
A.J. Ellis drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth, and Los Angeles pulled out a 6-5 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night in the opener of a series between the NL West and Central Division leaders. Adam Kennedy had four hits against his former team and James Loney drove in two runs.
Berkman, 3 for 31 with 10 strikeouts against Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly, was not in St. Louis' starting lineup despite having led the NL with 22 road home runs last season. He came up with two outs in the ninth as a pinch-hitter for Shane Robinson and drove Jansen's 0-1 pitch into the pavilion seats in right-center.
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Jansen (3-0), who struck out his first two batters trying to preserve a 5-4 lead for Lilly, ended up with the victory despite getting charged with his second blown save in five attempts.
"Kenley's fastball was really good -- probably as good as I've seen it all year," Ellis said of his batterymate. "He threw a good down-and-away fastball to Berkman, and I think everybody at this point knows where Berkman likes the ball. He likes the ball elevated and out over the plate, and we hit that spot. We didn't execute what we were trying to do and he made us pay for it."
Berkman's home run was his first in 41 at-bats this season -- ending the longest season-opening drought of his 14-year career.
"We weren't worried about Lance. I mean, Lance is going to be Lance," Cardinals starter Lance Lynn said. "Once he gets some at-bats and gets back in his groove. he's going to be just fine. Hopefully tonight started him toward that. When Lance comes off the bench and ties it up like that, you think you're right back in it."
Pinch-hitter Elian Herrera drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half from Fernando Salas (0-2), Kennedy singled with one out, and Loney was intentionally walked with runners at the corners. That set the stage for Ellis, who walked on four pitches to force home Herrera.
Lilly was charged with four runs -- all unearned -- and four hits through seven innings with six strikeouts and no walks. The 36-year-old left-hander lowered his ERA to 1.87. One of the hits off him was a two-run homer by Matt Holliday.
Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran, who took over the NL home run lead from injured Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp last Sunday, was back in the starting lineup for the first time in five games and went 2 for 4 after being sidelined with a sore right knee.
"I took four days rehabbing and working to try and make it better," Beltran said. "We were approaching this situation day by day, and every day I was making improvement -- but not to the level where I could play in games. Today, I went out there, did some sprints in the outfield and everything was 100 percent, so there was no reason for me to sit on the bench. Right now, I feel good. I'm just hoping to wake up tomorrow feeling good to and being in the lineup again."
Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly was ejected for the second time in six games during the top of the third inning while the Cardinals were rallying from a 3-0 deficit with four runs. But the Dodgers tied it in the bottom half with an RBI single by Kennedy.
Tyler Greene led off the Cardinals' third with a bunt single and advanced when catcher Ellis tried to surprise him with an attempted pickoff and threw the ball past Loney for an error. Robinson reached on a strikeout-wild pitch, and both runners moved up on Lynn's sacrifice bunt.
Rafael Furcal drove in the Cardinals' first run with a sacrifice fly, and Matt Carpenter checked his swing on a 1-2 pitch. Ellis appealed to third base ump Chad Fairchild, who ruled no swing, and Mattingly was tossed by plate umpire and crew chief Tom Hallion while he was barking at Hallion from the dugout.
"I'm not going to say if it was a quick trigger or not, but Donnie was just making a point about the checked swings and Tom didn't appreciate what Donnie was saying. I guess he gave him a really short leash," Ellis said. "But Donnie's definitely protecting the players and he's out there fighting for us -- not that he wasn't doing that last year, but I think he's getting more comfortable.
"One thing we know is Donnie's going to be there every day and he's going to bring it. So there's not a man in this clubhouse who doesn't love playing for him."
Carpenter capitalized on the big break and singled home Robinson. Holliday then put St. Louis ahead 4-3 with his third in four games and ninth overall.
|A.J. Ellis' bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning forces home the game-winning run for the Dodgers. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||3||0||0||1||0||1||0||.360|
|Matt Carpenter, 1B-RF||3||1||1||1||1||0||0||.292|
|Matt Holliday, LF||4||1||1||2||0||2||1||.263|
|Carlos Beltran, RF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.299|
|Adron Chambers, PR-RF^CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|David Freese, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.272|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.292|
|Tyler Greene, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||2||0||.236|
|Shane Robinson, CF||3||1||0||0||0||2||1||.255|
|a- Lance Berkman, PH-1B||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||.341|
|Lance Lynn, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.158|
|b- Skip Schumaker, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.314|
|Marc Rzepczynski, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Victor Marte, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Daniel Descalso, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.203|
|Fernando Salas, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-homered for Robinson in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Lynn in the 7th|
|c-struck out for Marte in the 9th|
|HR - Matt Holliday (9, Lilly), Lance Berkman (1, Jansen)|
|SF - Rafael Furcal (2)|
|SH - Lance Lynn (1)|
|RBI - Rafael Furcal (18), Matt Carpenter (19), Matt Holliday 2 (29), Lance Berkman (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Matt Carpenter (9), Matt Holliday 2 (10), Lance Berkman (2)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Furcal-T. Greene-M. Carpenter|
|E - Rafael Furcal (4, Throwing)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Fernando Salas (L,0-2)||0.1||1||1||1||3||1||0||5.52|
|IBB - Loney by Fernando Salas|
|Pitches-Strikes - Lance Lynn 103-68, Marc Rzepczynski 18-11, Victor Marte 10-9, Fernando Salas 26-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Lynn 6-6, Marc Rzepczynski 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Lance Lynn 28, Marc Rzepczynski 6, Victor Marte 4, Fernando Salas 5|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Dee Gordon, SS||5||0||0||0||0||1||3||.200|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.273|
|Josh Lindblom, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Scott Van Slyke, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.250|
|Bobby Abreu, LF||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.274|
|Kenley Jansen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Elian Herrera, PH||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.200|
|Andre Ethier, RF||4||1||0||0||1||1||2||.299|
|Adam Kennedy, 3B||4||1||4||1||1||0||0||.255|
|James Loney, 1B||4||1||3||2||1||1||2||.250|
|A.J. Ellis, C||4||1||1||2||1||1||5||.327|
|Tony Gwynn Jr., CF||4||0||2||1||0||1||0||.293|
|Ted Lilly, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.071|
|Justin Sellers, 2B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.161|
|a-struck out for Lindblom in the 8th|
|b-walked for Jansen in the 9th|
|2B - Adam Kennedy (3, Lynn), James Loney (10, Lynn), Justin Sellers (3, Marte)|
|3B - Tony Gwynn Jr. (2, Lynn)|
|SH - Ted Lilly (4)|
|RBI - Adam Kennedy (5), James Loney 2 (11), A.J. Ellis 2 (19), Tony Gwynn Jr. (7)|
|2-OUT RBI - James Loney (4)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|E - A.J. Ellis (3, Throwing), Adam Kennedy (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Josh Lindblom (H,9)||1||1||0||0||1||3||0||2.21|
|Kenley Jansen (BS,2; W,3-0)||1||1||1||1||0||3||1||2.61|
|WP - Ted Lilly (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 101-76, Josh Lindblom 31-19, Kenley Jansen 12-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 10-7|
|Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 27, Josh Lindblom 5, Kenley Jansen 4|
|Attendance - 40906|
|Game Time - 3:10|
|Temperature - 64|
|Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Cory Blaser, Third Base - Chad Fairchild|