Loney's late homer leads Dodgers to winAug 11, 2007 - 4:21 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- For the Los Angeles Dodgers of late, being good late has been better than nothing.
James Loney homered in the top of the ninth inning to snap a scoreless tie as the Dodgers grabbed a much-needed 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
The Dodgers had been held scoreless in three consecutive games before posting a 5-4 victory Thursday over the Cincinnati Reds on the strength of Rafael Furcal's homer in the 11th inning.
They again used some late-inning magic in this one as Loney belted a breaking ball from Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (10-9) over the wall in center field for a 2-0 lead.
"I just try to get good pitches to hit no matter where I am in the lineup," Loney said. "We have to start driving in more runs. It was big for us. We started a little slow tonight but it was a good pitching duel. Eventually, someone has to win it. I got to get the fat part of the barrel on the ball."
"It's definitely not how you want to end the game," Wainwright said. "A guy like Loney can hurt you. There's just not much margin for error there late in the game like that."
The homer made a winner of Joe Beimel (3-1), who tossed a scoreless eighth in relief of Brad Penny. Los Angeles' starter was brilliant despite being pulled after 108 pitches in his attempt to become the second National League pitcher to reach the 14-win mark.
"If you get ahead of hitters, it really helps," Penny said. "Tonight, I had all three pitches that I could throw for strikes so that helped out a lot. I always tell myself, 'Good pitching gets good hitting out.'"
Penny tossed seven scoreless frames, allowing five hits and three walks with five strikeouts for the Dodgers, who improved to 37-13 in contests in which they score three runs or less.
"It was a great ballgame," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "Well pitched. Penny was outstanding, as was their man, and the scoreboard reflected that."
Takashi Saito relieved Beimel in the ninth and provided a little drama, issuing a leadoff walk to Jim Edmonds and yielding back-to-back singles by Rick Ankiel and Yadier Molina, with the latter plating Edmonds and halving St. Louis' deficit. However, the Japanese righthander struck out pinch hitter Ryan Ludwick and Adam Kennedy to notch his 29th save in 32 chances.
"Closing is probably the toughest job," Penny said. "You're either a bum or a hero. He's done great for us ever since he's been in the big leagues."
Wainwright tossed his first career complete game, yielding just two runs and six hits with five strikeouts. The righthander improved his ERA to 3.07 since the All-Star break.
"This is a difficult game for him and us to lose," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He matched up against a pitcher who is throwing the ball as well as anyone in baseball."
Molina finished with three hits for the Cardinals, who fell to 2-36 in games in which they score fewer than three runs.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
LA DODGERS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 6 0
ST LOUIS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 7 1 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: LOS - BRAD PENNY, JOE BEIMEL (8TH), TAKASHI SAITO (9TH) AND RUSSELL
STL - ADAM WAINWRIGHT AND YADIER MOLINA
HOME RUNS: LOS - JAMES LONEY (5) OFF ADAM WAINW
Aug 10 10:51 PM
AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY YADIER MOLINA SCORED JIM EDMONDS.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y MOLINA ON FIRST, R ANKIEL ON SECOND, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 2
ST LOUIS 1 BOTTOM, 9TH
DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A WAINWRIGHT (.262, 0-FOR-3)
Dodgers vs. CardinalsAug 10 10:41 PM
AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JAMES LONEY (5) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
OUT IN THE 9TH OFF ADAM WAINWRIGHT SCORED RUSSELL MARTIN.
CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 2, ST LOUIS 0
DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: J KENT (.295, 0-FOR-3)
Dodgers vs. CardinalsAug 10 10:25 PM
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