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L.A. Dodgers (53-47)000040000481
St. Louis (53-46) «00024100x7181

Cards belt 18 hits, extend Dodgers' skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Somehow, the St. Louis Cardinals dropped a half-game in the standings on a 6-1 homestand. As manager Mike Matheny reminds players, if they keep this up good things have to happen.

David Freese and Matt Carpenter each had three of St. Louis' season-high 18 hits as the Cardinals handed the Los Angeles Dodgers their second straight setback since acquiring Hanley Ramirez, 7-4 Thursday.

"It's not like we really beat ourselves," losing pitcher Chris Capuano said. "It's a scrappy ballclub over there. They're the World Champions for a reason."

The Cardinals answered the Dodgers' four-run fifth with four runs in the bottom half and Matt Holliday added his 17th homer in the sixth. They're 5 1/2 games back in the NL Central but answered a 1-5 trip to open the second half with a combination of strong starting and offense that scored seven or more runs in four of the wins.

"You guys get tired of hearing it, but I just think this is the team we are," Matheny said. "I think they believe that, too. It would be nice to ride it for a few months."

Obtained a day earlier from Miami, Ramirez started at third base and batted fifth for the second straight game. He had an infield hit, two walks and a steal, and grounded into a double play. The 2009 NL batting champion is 2 for 6 with three walks an RBI with his new team but the Dodgers are 0-2 since the trade and have lost three in a row overall.

"He's a tough out and he does a good job of putting the barrel on the bat," Jake Westbrook said after working seven or more innings for the third straight start. "He definitely makes their lineup that much tougher, so it's good to get a couple wins with him in there."

Matt Holliday hit his 17th homer for St. Louis, which fell behind 4-2 by allowing four runs in the fifth and then scored four in the bottom half. Allen Craig and Tony Cruz each had two hits and an RBI.

Freese left the game with cramping in his right calf for a pinch hitter in the sixth, an inning after getting a bit of medical attention following a two-run single for the go-ahead hit. He was 11 for 20 on the homestand.

Matt Kemp had an infield hit and was 2 for 16 with seven strikeouts and no RBI in the series.

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"I feel like we had a good game plan," said Cruz, the St. Louis catcher. "Me and Yaddy [Molina] watched a lot of video and our pitchers made their pitches."

Westbrook allowed four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits with six strikeouts. He responded after the Dodgers' four-run fifth, allowing a hit and walk the last two innings.

Mitchell Boggs allowed a hit in the eighth to give him 14 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, a season best for the team, and Jason Motte struck out the side against three pinch hitters in the ninth for his 22nd save in 26 chances.

In his last nine appearances Motte hasn't allowed a run with seven saves, 12 strikeouts and no walks in 10 1/3 innings.

"We look really good together," Motte said of the setup-closer tandem. "We were in each other's weddings. We've got pictures and stuff together."

Capuano (10-6) gave up six runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings, dropping to 0-4 with a 7.90 ERA at 7-year-old Busch Stadium. He gave up two hits the first three innings but retired only three of his last 12 batters.

Los Angeles plans to call up a minor leaguer to start Friday night in San Francisco.

Given a 2-0 lead, Westbrook had thrown 11 consecutive scoreless innings and had struck out four in a row before the Dodgers opened the fifth with four singles in five pitches, taking the lead on RBI hits by Juan Rivera and Cruz.

A third run scored on Matt Treanor's infield hit when second baseman Daniel Descalso relayed to third after cutting off the ball, and Freese made an error with wild throw to the plate in an attempt to catch Rivera.

Capuano contributed his third RBI of the year with a sacrifice fly that made it 4-2 with two outs.

St. Louis went ahead in the bottom half on Freese's hit and RBI singles by Craig and Luis Cruz. Holliday homered to straightaway center off Javy Guerra in the sixth.

Notes

  • RF Andre Ethier turned a nice double play to avoid further damage in the Cardinals' two-run second when he caught Westbrook's sinking liner and then threw to the plate just in time for C Matt Treanor's tag on Matt Carpenter.
  • Lance Lynn (12-4, 3.10) is 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in four career appearances against the Cubs heading into Friday's start in Chicago.
  • Lance Berkman missed his second straight start with a bruised right knee but could return Friday.
  • Tyler Greene singled in the seventh for his first pinch hit in 13 at-bats this year.
  • Carpenter was 3 for 5 after going just 2 for 13 the first six games of the homestand.
 
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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David Freese accounts for three of the Cards' 18 hits to help drop the Dodgers to 0-2 since acquiring Hanley Ramirez. (AP)
David Freese accounts for three of the Cards' 18 hits to help drop the Dodgers to 0-2 since acquiring Hanley Ramirez. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

D. Freese
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
St. Louis

J. Westbrook
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 3
BB 1
K 6
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Tony Gwynn Jr., LF4000012 .237
Mark Ellis, 2B4000021 .256
Matt Kemp, CF4010020 .339
Andre Ethier, RF4120011 .292
Hanley Ramirez, 3B2110201 .251
Juan Rivera, 1B4111013 .256
Luis Cruz, SS3111000 .243
   a- Jerry Hairston Jr., PH1000010 .297
Matt Treanor, C3010000 .208
   b- A.J. Ellis, PH1000010 .276
Chris Capuano, P1001010 .091
    Javy Guerra, P0000000 .000
   c- James Loney, PH1010000 .251
    Randy Choate, P0000000 .000
    Josh Lindblom, P0000000 .000
   d- Bobby Abreu, PH1000010 .244
Totals33483211  
a-struck out for L. Cruz in the 9th
b-struck out for Treanor in the 9th
c-singled for Guerra in the 7th
d-struck out for Lindblom in the 9th
Batting
SF - Chris Capuano (1)
RBI - Juan Rivera (34), Luis Cruz (14), Chris Capuano (3)
SB - Matt Kemp (3, 2nd base off Boggs/Cruz), Hanley Ramirez (15, 2nd base off Westbrook/Cruz)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Andre Ethier 1
DP - Ethier-Treanor, J. Rivera
E - Andre Ethier (1, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Capuano (L,10-6) 4.11166110 3.13
Javy Guerra 1.2411111 3.58
Randy Choate 1200010 2.30
Josh Lindblom 1100000 3.09
IBB - Jay by Javy Guerra
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Capuano 79-51, Javy Guerra 30-19, Randy Choate 12-9, Josh Lindblom 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Capuano 3-8, Javy Guerra 3-1
Batters Faced - Chris Capuano 24, Javy Guerra 10, Randy Choate 4, Josh Lindblom 4
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rafael Furcal, SS5010003 .276
Daniel Descalso, 2B5110002 .234
Matt Holliday, LF4221100 .321
Allen Craig, RF-1B5221001 .299
David Freese, 3B3232000 .314
   a- Skip Schumaker, PH-RF2020000 .317
Matt Carpenter, 1B-3B5031002 .288
Tony Cruz, C4022013 .213
Jon Jay, CF3010111 .301
Jake Westbrook, P3000017 .171
   b- Tyler Greene, PH1010000 .219
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
Totals40718723  
a-singled for Freese in the 6th
b-singled for Westbrook in the 7th
Batting
2B - Allen Craig (18, Capuano)
HR - Matt Holliday (17, Guerra)
RBI - Matt Holliday (64), Allen Craig (50), David Freese 2 (58), Matt Carpenter (22), Tony Cruz 2 (8)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Freese-Descalso-M. Carpenter
E - David Freese (8, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jake Westbrook (W,9-8) 7743160 3.61
Mitchell Boggs (H,15) 1100120 1.71
Jason Motte (S,22) 1000030 2.66
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 94-62, Mitchell Boggs 21-12, Jason Motte 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 8-6
Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 28, Mitchell Boggs 5, Jason Motte 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36607
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 91
Umpires - Home - John Tumpane, First Base - Marty Foster, Second Base - D.J. Reyburn, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg