for this game

Homers from Ludwick, Pujols send Cardinals past Dodgers

Aug 7, 2008 - 5:27 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- For the past few seasons, the St. Louis Cardinals have searched for a hitter capable of providing protection in the lineup for Albert Pujols. More and more, that player appears to be Ryan Ludwick.

Ludwick tied a team record by homering in his fifth straight game and Pujols belted his sixth career grand slam Wednesday, lifting the Cardinals to a 9-6 triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

While Pujols has been a stellar offensive force, St. Louis has been hard-pressed to find another hitter that could take full advantage of his presence in the lineup.

No Cardinals hitter other than Pujols has delivered more than 22 homers or 95 RBI over the past two seasons since Jim Edmonds eclipsed both totals in 2004. But Ludwick is on pace to accomplish the feat, as he has 29 homers and 82 RBI thus far.

"(Ludwick) is doing great job," Pujols said. "He's been doing that all year long, no matter if he is in front or behind me. He's getting some big hits for us. It's really exciting. He's obviously proved that he belongs at this level."

In this contest, Pujols finished 4-for-4 with a walk, while Ludwick was 3-for-5 with three RBI. The All-Star outfielder is hitting .514 with six homers and 12 RBI during his nine-game hitting streak.

"The best part about it is that we're winning," Ludwick said. "I felt like I had the best seat in the house tonight following Albert. He looked really good at the plate tonight. It was really fun to watch. When he's on his game, we're a lot better team. Everyone knows he's one of the best righthanded hitters in the game."

After RBI singles by Ludwick and Yadier Molina in the third knotted the game at 3-3, the Cardinals started to force the issue against Derek Lowe (8-10) in the fourth.

Joel Pineiro and Cesar Izturis opened the inning with singles. After a flyout by Skip Schumaker, Adam Kennedy loaded the bases with yet another base hit.

Pujols wasted little time taking advantage, sending a first-pitch fastball into the stands in left for his 23rd home run. Not to be outdone, Ludwick followed suit four pitches later, ending Lowe's night with his 29th blast that staked the Cardinals to an 8-3 advantage.

"Obviously, when you bat like we've been doing all year, you get some hits off some big guys," Pujols said. "We took advantage of the situation. I go out there and try to do my best."

Lowe surrendered eight runs and 13 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

"Nothing worked all night long," Lowe said. "I can't continually throw flat sinkers out over the plate and expect to get guys out. I did it on a regular basis and paid the price. I put the team in a huge hole. We battled back as far as we could, but the five-run cushion never helps."

After yielding three runs and five hits through three innings, Pineiro (4-5) settled down and allowed just one more run and three hits over his final four frames. He did not walk a batter and struck out two.

"I felt like two completely different pitchers out there," Pineiro said. "In the first couple of innings, everything they hit was off-speed up - changeups, curveballs, sliders. But once Yadi (catcher Molina) just told me to trust my sinker and go out there and work, not only me, but everybody else could see the difference, getting a lot of groundballs.

"That's the way I should be pitching. For some reason, it kind of clicked in after that third inning. I felt good. I had a good rhythm after that third inning."

After trading runs with the Cardinals in the seventh, the Dodgers cut the deficit to three in the eighth on RBI doubles by James Loney and Casey Blake.

But controversy ensued after Blake's at-bat, and Los Angeles played the remainder of the game under protest.

After being led to believe that Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had signaled for a pitching change from righthander Brad Thompson to lefthander Ron Villone, Dodgers manager Joe Torre burned pinch hitter Mark Sweeney and replaced him with Jeff Kent.

"Once Blake got the double and I asked the umpire, 'Is (Sweeney) in the game?' he said no to me," Torre said. "And that's when I put Kent in to hit instead of Sweeney. And then the umpire told me when his back was turned (that) Sweeney stepped in the box, which puts him in the game.

"And I said, 'Yeah, I'm just going on what you told me.' I'm basing what I'm doing on what he tells me I can do. And that's the basis of the protest. I was just doing what the umpire told me. This is basically a judgment on their part. You can't look at two different things at one time."

After several minutes of discussion between the umpires and the managers, Kent was ordered to stay in the game. La Russa responded by replacing Thompson with rookie Chris Perez, who caught Kent looking at a third strike and retired Angel Berroa on an infield pop-up to end the inning.

Perez also worked the ninth for his first career save in two chances.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA DODGERS 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 6 11 0
    ST LOUIS 1 0 2 5 0 0 1 0 x 9 17 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LOS - DEREK LOWE, RAMON TRONCOSO (4TH), BRIAN FALKENBORG (7TH), JOE
    BEIMEL (7TH), CHAN HO PARK (8TH) AND RUSSELL MARTIN
    STL - JOEL PINEIRO, BRAD THOMPSON (8TH), CHR

    Aug 6 11:12 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CASEY BLAKE SCORED JAMES LONEY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C BLAKE ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 6
    ST LOUIS 9 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: P OZUNA (.167, 0-FOR-3)

    Dodgers 6, Cardinals 9  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 6 10:40 PM


  • NL
    LA DODGERS AT ST LOUIS
    NOTE: ST LOUIS CENTER FIELDER SKIP SCHUMAKER EXTENDED HIS
    HITTING STREAK TO 10 GAMES WITH A SINGLE IN THE SEVENTH INNING.

    Dodgers 5, Cardinals 9  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 6 10:35 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SKIP SCHUMAKER SCORED JOE MATHER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S SCHUMAKER ON FIRST, C IZTURIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 4
    ST LOUIS 9 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A KENNEDY (.275, 2-FOR-4)

    Dodgers 4, Cardinals 9  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 6 10:26 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MATT KEMP SCORED ANGEL BERROA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M KEMP ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 4
    ST LOUIS 8 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: A ETHIER (.273, 0-FOR-3)

    Dodgers 4, Cardinals 8  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 6 10:08 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN LUDWICK (29) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF DEREK LOWE.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 3, ST LOUIS 8
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: T GLAUS (.273, 1-FOR-2)

    Dodgers 3, Cardinals 8  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 6 9:27 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY ALBERT PUJOLS (23) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF DEREK LOWE SCORED JOEL PINEIRO, CESAR IZTURIS AND ADAM
    KENNEDY.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 3, ST LOUIS 7
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.304, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Dodgers 3, Cardinals 7  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 6 9:26 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YADIER MOLINA SCORED RYAN LUDWICK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, Y MOLINA ON FIRST, T GLAUS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 3
    ST LOUIS 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: F LOPEZ (.236, 1-FOR-1)

    Dodgers 3, Cardinals 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 6 9:07 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN LUDWICK SCORED ALBERT PUJOLS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R LUDWICK ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 3
    ST LOUIS 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: T GLAUS (.272, 0-FOR-1)

    Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 6 9:04 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Dodgers 2, Cardinals 1  Top 3, 0 OutsAug 6 8:56 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MANNY RAMIREZ SCORED MATT KEMP.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M RAMIREZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 3
    ST LOUIS 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: J LONEY (.299, 0-FOR-1)

    Dodgers 3, Cardinals 1  Top 3, 0 OutsAug 6 8:56 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY ANGEL BERROA SCORED PABLO OZUNA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A BERROA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 2
    ST LOUIS 1 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: D LOWE (.186, 0 HR, 5 RBI)

    Dodgers 2, Cardinals 1  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 6 8:39 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MANNY RAMIREZ (3) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 2ND OFF JOEL PINEIRO.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 1, ST LOUIS 1
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: J LONEY (.299, 9 HR, 62 RBI)

    Dodgers 1, Cardinals 1  Top 2, 0 OutsAug 6 8:30 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY DEREK LOWE ALLOWED ADAM KENNEDY TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A PUJOLS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 0
    ST LOUIS 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.303, 0-FOR-0)

    Dodgers 0, Cardinals 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 6 8:26 PM