for this game

Betemit's pinch-hit blast leads Dodgers

May 17, 2007 - 6:36 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Batting under .200 for the season, Wilson Betemit belongs on the bench. But that's the last place an opposing team wants to see him.

Betemit drilled a three-run pinch-hit home run to lift the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to five games, although he failed in his bid to become just the second player in major league history to record four straight four-hit games.

While Betemit is batting a paltry .194 on the season, he has been a terror in his pinch-hitting role.

His fifth-inning blast off Cardinals starter Kip Wells (1-8) made him 4-for-5 as a pinch hitting this season, including three home runs.

"He (Betemit) has been swinging the bat a lot better lately but right now he gives us another good weapon with (Olmedo) Saenz coming off the bench," Dodgers manager Grady Little said.

Wells lost his seventh straight decision, allowing five runs in six hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked six, throwing 125 pitches.

"I was just trying to be aggressive and make good pitches to him (Betemit) but I left my change up middle in to Betemit and I didn't expect him to do what he did," Wells said. "It's demoralizing."

With the exception of one inning, Dodgers starter Randy Wolf pitched fairly well. The lefthander also went five innings, yielding three runs - two earned - and six hits while striking out seven and walking one.

"I did run into some trouble but I made some big pitches to help me get out of the inning," Wolf said. "It was a tough start for me cause I had to battle the whole game."

Three relievers bridged the gap to closer Takashi Saito, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his 13th save in as many chances as the Dodgers beat the Cardinals back-to-back for the first time since 2004.

"Our pen has done such an excellent job for us the whole season, but they did a really good job in this series when they came in the game in tough spots," Little said.

With Los Angeles holding a 1-0 lead, Wolf was tagged for a leadoff double by Yadier Molina in the third inning. A two-out single by Aaron Miles tied it at 1-1.

After Juan Encarnacion followed with an infield single, Wolf became unhinged.

The lefthander hit Albert Pujols with a pitch to load the bases and then uncorked a wild pitch. Miles scored on the play and Encarnacion followed him home when catcher Russell Martin threw wildly past Wolf for a 3-1 lead.

"I was trying to be too perfect with Albert because I know how he can put runs on the board with one swing of the bat but the ball just got away from me," Wolf said.

The Dodgers cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fourth, when Juan Pierre singled home Andre Ethier, who led off the frame with a double. They loaded the bases before Wells averted further damage by striking out Jeff Kent to end the inning.

The Dodgers cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fourth when Juan Pierre singled home Ethier, who led off the frame with a double. They loaded the bases before Wells averted further damage by striking out Jeff Kent to end the inning.

Wells, who entered having lost six straight decisions, was in trouble again in the fifth as his pitch count soared over 120.

"I wasn't aware of my pitch count and it doesn't matter to me," Wells said. "Tony (La Russa) gave me a chance to stay in the game and win the game but I just couldn't get it done."

A single by Martin, an intentional walk and a wild pitch put runners at second and third with one out. Wells got Andy LaRoche to ground out to third and the Cardinals nailed lead runner Martin in a rundown.

The brought Betemit up to pinch hit for Wolf and he delivered in a big way, slamming a three-run homer to straightaway center for a 5-3 lead.

"Kip worked as hard as he could tonight, and he earned the right to face him (Betemit)," La Russa said. "He just made a bad pitch and they got three runs from it."

"I could have kept Wolf in for another inning but the time was right for me to put Betemit in and it paid off for us tonight," Little said.

St. Louis' Scott Spiezio delivered a two-out single off Joe Beimel in the seventh to plate Scott Rolen and cut the deficit to 5-4.

Furcal, who on Tuesday night became the fifth player in 55 years to have four hits in three consecutive games, continued his torrid streak with a double in his first at-bat off Wells. He later scored on a single by Nomar Garciaparra for a 1-0 lead.

"I wasn't thinking of getting another four hits today," Furcal said. "You can't go out there and expect to get hits. I just have to let the game come to me but I'm just happy that we won the game."








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

    BATTERIES: STL - KIP WELLS, BRIAN FALKENBORG (6TH), RANDY FLORES (7TH), RUSS
    SPRINGER (8TH), TYLER JOHNSON (8TH) AND YADIER MOLINA
    LOS - RANDY WOLF, CHIN-HUI TSAO (6TH), JOE B

    May 17 1:31 AM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 17 1:18 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SCOTT SPIEZIO SCORED SCOTT ROLEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S SPIEZIO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    LA DODGERS 5 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S TAGUCHI (.245, 0-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 17 12:43 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY WILSON BETEMIT (4) TO CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 5TH OFF KIP WELLS SCORED ANDRE ETHIER AND ANDY LAROCHE.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3, LA DODGERS 5
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: R FURCAL (.300, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 17 12:11 AM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JUAN PIERRE SCORED ANDRE ETHIER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J PIERRE ON FIRST, R FURCAL ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3
    LA DODGERS 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: N GARCIAPARRA (.294, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 16 11:41 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY RUSSELL MARTIN ALLOWED JUAN ENCARNACION TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A PUJOLS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3
    LA DODGERS 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S ROLEN (.214, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 16 11:01 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY RANDY WOLF ALLOWED AARON MILES TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A PUJOLS ON FIRST, J ENCARNACION ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    LA DODGERS 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S ROLEN (.214, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 16 11:01 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AARON MILES SCORED YADIER MOLINA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A MILES ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 1
    LA DODGERS 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J ENCARNACION (.125, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 16 10:56 PM


  • NL
    AT LA DODGERS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NOMAR GARCIAPARRA SCORED RAFAEL FURCAL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N GARCIAPARRA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    LA DODGERS 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: J KENT (.300, 5 HR, 21 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. DodgersMay 16 10:21 PM