for this game

Miles propels Dodgers past Cardinals

Aug 23, 2011 - 4:43 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Aaron Miles hit an RBI triple and scored in the ninth inning, and the Dodgers overcame a strong start by Chris Carpenter to squeeze out a 2-1 win over the Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series Monday.

Carpenter hit the leadoff man, Juan Rivera, with his 99th pitch in the top of the ninth and was pulled for newly-acquired veteran Arthur Rhodes despite giving up just five hits and a walk until that point.

Rhodes struck out his only batter, Andre Ethier, but Miles tripled to the right-center field wall off Fernando Salas (5-5) to tie the game at 1-1. Miles then scored when Rod Barajas, facing Jason Motte, grounded sharply to shortstop Rafael Furcal with the infield drawn in.

Furcal knocked the ball down, but his throw home was neither accurate nor on time.

Lance Berkman hit a leadoff homer in the second inning against Dodgers starter Nate Eovaldi, his 29th of the season, for the Cardinals' only run.

Berkman's blast to right-center was almost enough for Carpenter and the Cardinals, who opened a seven-game homestand after returning from a 2-4 road trip.

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa defended his decision to pull Carpenter after he hit Rivera with his third pitch of the inning, saying he wanted the lefty- lefty matchup of Rhodes on Ethier.

He picked Salas, a right-hander, to pitch against Miles and a righty-righty matchup of Motte versus Barajas.

"I just play the inning and watch what happens," said La Russa, known for his busy managerial style.

Carpenter said he appreciated the sentiment of the fans inside Busch Stadium who seemed displeased with La Russa's decision to make a change.

"I felt good," said Carpenter, who was 7-1 in his previous 11 starts entering Monday's game, and 6-0 lifetime against the Dodgers.

He said he didn't try to lobby La Russa to remain in the game -- "Been around him too long" -- and blamed himself for the situation.

"It was my fault for hitting Rivera," said Carpenter.

Eovaldi, who was making his fifth major league start, gave up five hits and a walk while striking out two in five innings. Matt Guerrier (4-3) earned the win for pitching the eighth and Javy Guerra stranded a runner at first in the ninth to earn his 11th save.

"It's definitely good to strike first in a series like this, especially against the Cardinals because they have great pitching and a good offense," Eovaldi said.

Game Notes

The Dodgers won for just the second time in their last nine games against the Cardinals...Los Angeles is 3-5 on a 10-game road trip...Both teams had six hits.