[July 21, 2014]ST. LOUIS -- It was a long,
tempestuous game on a warm summer night that had an October feel to it.
Amid multiple hit batters, warnings, arguments and pitching
changes, the Los Angeles Dodgers managed to avoid a sweep at the St.
Louis Cardinals' hands Sunday night.
First baseman Adrian Gonzalez's two-out RBI single in the top of the
ninth scored pinch runner Miguel Rojas from second with the
tiebreaking run, and Los Angeles notched a 4-3 win at sold-out Busch
The Dodgers (55-45) eased into a tie for first place in the National
League West with the San Francisco Giants, 3-2 losers earlier in the
day at Miami. Los Angeles scored more than three runs in a game for
the first time since falling 14-5 on July 8 in Detroit.
"We got some good at-bats tonight and hits when we needed them," Los
Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. "You don't want to have (a
losing streak extended). Now we can start a new series (Monday
night) in Pittsburgh off a win."
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis led off the ninth inning with a double
against reliever Trevor Rosenthal (1-5), the sixth St. Louis
pitcher. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez was hit by an 0-2 pitch with two
outs, and Gonzalez stroked an 0-1 pitch into right, with Rojas
It was the second time Ramirez was nailed by a fastball approaching
100 mph. Before taking Rosenthal's 99-mph heater off his left hand,
forcing him to leave the game, Ramirez was drilled by a 97 mph
fastball on the left shoulder from starter Carlos Martinez in the
Between Ramirez's plunkings, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw nailed left
fielder Matt Holliday in the left hip with a 95 mph fastball to lead
off the Cardinals' fourth. Plate umpire Ed Hickox issued warnings to
After Ramirez was hit in the ninth, Mattingly came out and discussed
the earlier warnings with Hickox.
"I don't think it was anything intentional," Mattingly said.
"(Hickox) didn't think it was intentional. Everyone has to pitch
inside, but if you can't pitch inside without hitting someone, your
guys are at risk."
Ramirez's left shoulder and hand were taped and iced after the game.
Mattingly said X-rays on Ramirez's hand were negative.
"It's just part of the game," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said of
the hit batsmen.
J.P. Howell (2-3) retired the last batter of the eighth to pick up
the win, and Kenley Jansen pitched a clean ninth for his 28th save.
Kershaw threw seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits and one
walk with eight strikeouts. It was the first time he surrendered
more than two runs since a 3-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on May
Martinez left after four innings. He gave up six hits and three runs
while walking two and striking out five.
With the Dodgers leading 3-1 in the sixth, Kershaw issued a 10-pitch
leadoff walk to third baseman Matt Carpenter. Center fielder Peter
Bourjos cashed it in, launching a 2-2 slider over the wall in
left-center for his third homer of the year and his first since June
"He buries that slider down and in to righties," Bourjos said. "That
one was a flat breaking ball out over the plate, and I didn't miss
Each team scored in the second inning. Los Angeles third baseman
Juan Uribe blooped a two-out RBI single to right that scored right
fielder Andre Ethier, who tripled with one out.
St. Louis right fielder Allen Craig drilled a hanging 0-2 curveball
for a double to the wall in left-center that plated shortstop Jhonny
Peralta with the equalizer.
The Dodgers took the lead again in the third as left fielder Matt
Kemp and Ethier collected two-out RBI singles, cashing in walks
drawn by Kershaw and Ramirez.
"It was good to do something offensively for a change," Ellis said.
"We cashed in on Gonzo's huge hit. It felt good to have a little
edge tonight. It was a great team win."
In losing for just the third time in 10 games, the Cardinals (54-45)
remained tied for first place with the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL
NOTES: Los Angeles RHP Josh Beckett (hip) will be activated Tuesday
night to start in Pittsburgh. ... St. Louis LF Matt Holliday, who
was lifted in the fifth inning Saturday after complaining of
headaches and dizziness, was back in the lineup Sunday night and
went 0-for-2 with an intentional walk and a hit-by-pitch. Holliday
collided with Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez on a pickoff play at second
in the first inning Saturday, but team physicians said Holliday
didn't sustain a concussion. ... Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig didn't play
because of a sore left hand. Puig was plunked by a Joe Kelly
changeup in the third inning Saturday.