for this game

Cardinals' offense breaks out early, downs Dodgers

May 15, 2007 - 7:04 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- It seems as though whatever ails the offense of the St. Louis Cardinals' lately can be cured when they meet the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Chris Duncan homered and led five St. Louis hitters with at least two hits as the Cardinals cruised to an 8-4 victory over the Dodgers in the opener of a three-game set Monday, notching their 9,000th win as a franchise.

St. Louis, which was shut out twice in San Diego over the weekend, wasted little time jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Jim Edmonds started a string of three consecutive run-producing plate appearances with an RBI double to left.

"If you look at the quality of our hitters, we have got to get there," Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa said. "We have not caught many breaks with hard-hit balls lately. Tonight, some fell in."

"I don't have any explanation for that at all," Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen said. "If you saw us last night and saw us tonight, you'd know that sometimes there just isn't an explanation."

Scott Rolen followed Edmonds with a sacrifice fly that plated Duncan, and Juan Encarnacion drove in Edmonds with a run-scoring single.

"That's huge, we score some runs right there in the first inning, and kept piling it on," Cardinals starter Brad Thompson said.

The offensive assault continued in the three-run second frame as Adam Kennedy found the gap in deep right-center for a run-scoring double. Duncan followed with his sixth home run of the season - a two-run shot - to stake the Cardinals to a 6-0 advantage.

"It's a different game when you do that," LaRussa said. "When you do that early in the game, the pitcher gets more aggressive and the batters get more confident. There were a lot of hungry at-bats throughout the game."

"That's baseball," Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent said. "They know how to play baseball, Kent said. They're the world champions. They played well and we didn't. We lose."

Duncan's homer was the team's second of the month and the first in its last 93 innings.

"If go up there thinking about that, you go up there and swing worse," Duncan said. "We just wanted to get some good at-bats and put some good swings on the ball."

With the victory, the Cardinals continued their dominance of Los Angeles. They have won 10 straight games over the Dodgers and outscored them, 59-21. St. Louis improved to 3-20 when its opponent scores four or more runs.

"I've got no clue how that happens," Eckstein said of the Cardinals' dominance of the Dodgers. "I do know they were one swing away from getting back into the game tonight. We have to come out and play good baseball tomorrow because none of that matters."

"Without you guys talking about it so much, we didn't even know," Furcal said. "We're going to lose 80 games and still be a great team. This game is so weird in that you can't beat Team X and you don't know why. As players, you don't worry so much about the whys, you just worry about the wins."

David Eckstein tallied three hits and scored the final run in a two-run third that capped the scoring for the Cardinals, who won for the fourth time in six contests.

Cardinals starter Brad Thompson (2-0) pitched a career-high 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and eight hits with three strikeouts. Of the 17 outs the righthander recorded, 13 were groundouts.

"I threw 80 (79) pitches, maybe 60 or 65 were sinkers," Thompson said. "It's nice to do the job as a starter. Hopefully, I can hang on to the job for a while."

"Brad was great tonight," Rolen said. "He kept the ball down and got a lot of ground ball outs. He keeps us all involved. That's what you want, quick outs so you can get on and off the field."

Tyler Johnson and Ryan Franklin pitched an uneventful 1 1/3 innings to push the game into the ninth.

However, St. Louis did their best to make the game interesting as reliever Randy Flores gave up three hits to load the bases, retiring just one hitter. Closer Jason Isringhausen relieved Flores and allowed a two-out, bases-loaded walk to Olmedo Saenz to narrow the deficit to 8-4.

However, Ramon Martinez followed Saenz and ended the threat when he grounded out weakly to short. As a result, Isringhausen posted his 10th save in 11 chances.

Los Angeles starter Brett Tomko (1-4) was pounded in his 2 2/3 innings of work, surrendering eight runs and nine hits in his shortest start since June 26, 2005, while pitching for the San Francisco Giants.

"It was a bad day at the office," Tomko said. "Nothing went right tonight. I fell behind a lot of guys. They kept swinging and they didn't stop. Just chalk it up to a bad night."

"He had a rough game out there tonight," Little said. "He just put a few too many pitches on the nitro zone, the barrel of the bat. He was missing location today by as much as a yard and you just can't do that."

Jeff Kent and Wilson Betemit each hit solo homers for the Dodgers. Rafael Furcal recorded his second straight four-hit game and is 10-for-13 over his last three games, raising his average 48 points to .276 in that time.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 13 1
    LA DODGERS 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 4 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - BRAD THOMPSON, TYLER JOHNSON (7TH), RYAN FRANKLIN (8TH), RANDY
    FLORES (9TH), JASON ISRINGHAUSEN (9TH) AND YADIER MOLINA
    LOS - BRETT TOMKO, RUDY SEANEZ (3RD),

    May 15 12:59 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO OLMEDO SAENZ SCORED WILSON BETEMIT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, O SAENZ ON FIRST, R FURCAL ON SECOND, A
    ETHIER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8
    LA DODGERS 4 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: R MARTINEZ (.173, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 15 12:57 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RAFAEL FURCAL SCORED ANDRE ETHIER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R FURCAL ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8
    LA DODGERS 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: J PIERRE (.285, 0-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 15 12:13 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY WILSON BETEMIT (3) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF BRAD THOMPSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8, LA DODGERS 2
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: A ETHIER (.270, 1-FOR-2)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 15 12:10 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JEFF KENT (5) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF BRAD THOMPSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8, LA DODGERS 1
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: L GONZALEZ (.276, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 14 11:21 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY RUDY SEANEZ ALLOWED YADIER MOLINA TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D ECKSTEIN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 8
    LA DODGERS 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A KENNEDY (.245, 2-FOR-2, RBI)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 14 11:02 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YADIER MOLINA SCORED SCOTT ROLEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y MOLINA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 7
    LA DODGERS 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: D ECKSTEIN (.214, 1-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 14 10:54 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CHRIS DUNCAN (6) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF BRETT TOMKO SCORED ADAM KENNEDY.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 6, LA DODGERS 0
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.246, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 14 10:42 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ADAM KENNEDY SCORED DAVID ECKSTEIN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A KENNEDY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    LA DODGERS 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: C DUNCAN (.291, 1-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 14 10:39 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 3 3 4 0
    LA DODGERS 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - BRAD THOMPSON
    LOS - BRETT TOMKO

    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: R FURCAL (.254, 0 HR, 9 RBI)
    J PIERRE (.290, 0 HR, 8 RBI)
    N GARCIAPARRA (.299, 1

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 14 10:22 PM