Cards edge Dodgers in 12 innings Wednesday

The St. Louis Cardinals won the third of four against LA for their third victory in nine extra-inning games this season.



Pinch hitter Lance Berkman barely could stand up as he batted in the 12th inning Wednesday. Pinch runner Joe Kelly couldn't stand up as he tried to make a turn on the bases. Shortstop Rafael Furcal had been 0-for-4 and hadn't hit the ball out of the infield.


That unlikely crew combined to give the Cardinals a rare one-run win and rarer extra-inning victory, as St. Louis beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2.


Berkman, who was plunked on his surgically repaired right knee by a Clayton Kershaw pitch the night before, was sent up to pinch-hit in the 12th because he had had three homers against Los Angeles right-hander Jamey Wright. However, he quickly fell behind in the count 0-2, and manager Mike Matheny said, "When he fouled a ball and almost fell down, I was wondering whether it was the right decision to use him."


Berkman worked a one-out walk and was run for by the energetic Kelly, a right-handed pitcher who had tripped over first base while beating out an infield hit a couple of days before.


When Matt Carpenter singled with two outs, Kelly tried to turn second but thought he was going to miss the bag. He then tripped when he rounded the base and had to scramble back to second.


That prompted a discussion with third base coach Jose Oquendo, who instructed Kelly, "Make sure you touch third."


Sure enough, Furcal, who knocked in three runs the night before, served a single to left, and Kelly, adjusting his steps, made sure he touched third and then scored standing up.


Matheny said, "When he came around third (without falling down), guys were high-fiving in the dugout. We're lucky the left fielder bobbled the ball. We don't know how that would have turned out."


The win was just the Cardinals' 12th in 29 one-run decisions and their third in nine extra-inning games.



LHP Brian Fuentes was brought up from Class AA Springfield after throwing one perfect inning and striking out two Tuesday. Fuentes, recently signed after his release by Oakland, was to have pitched two games in Springfield but was impressive enough in the first outing to be summoned to St. Louis.

The 36-year-old veteran, who had five saves and a 6.84 ERA with Oakland, said he signed with the Cardinals because "I just felt the back end of the bullpen seemed like it was one guy short. They had a few young guys who were a little bit inexperienced." For the moment, at least, the Cardinals will carry three left-handed relievers, with Marc Rzepczynski and Barret Browning the others.

RHP Victor Marte, who had struggled lately, optioned to Class AAA Memphis. In his last nine appearances, Marte allowed six runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. On the season, he was 2-2 with a 4.46 ERA in 42 outings.

RHP Chuckie Fick was designated for assignment by the Cardinals, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster for LHP Brian Fuentes. Fick, 26, was 1-1 with two saves and a 4.68 ERA in 42 appearances for Class AAA Memphis this season. He made his first two major league appearances in late May, allowing one run in 1 2/3 innings.

LHP Jaime Garcia, rebounding from shoulder issues, threw 30 pitches in a live batting practice session against hitters at the team's complex in Jupiter, Fla. He is scheduled to perform the same drill Friday, throwing more pitches, and then likely will head out on a rehab assignment. "He has to be prepared to throw 100 pitches before he can be back here," pitching coach Derek Lilliquist said.

1B Lance Berkman, who pinch-hit Wednesday, probably won't start until at least this weekend in Chicago. Berkman has a deep bruise in his right knee after being hit by a pitch Tuesday.

RHP Kyle Lohse worked at least seven innings for the eighth time in nine starts. He remained 10-2 after holding Los Angeles to two runs over seven innings, walking no one. The Cardinals have had 19 consecutive games in which their starter has given up two earned runs or fewer over the first six innings. They have 20 straight quality starts.

RHP Fernando Salas pitched two scoreless innings to gain his first win. The Cardinals bullpen threw five scoreless innings, giving up just one hit.

3B David Freese had two more hits, extending his hitting streak to eight games. He is 13-for-25 (.520) in that time.

By the Numbers:

4 - Walk-off wins for the Cardinals this season. SS Rafael Furcal has accounted for two of them this month, including one Wednesday.

Quote to Note:

"(Lance) Berkman calls me a baby giraffe. I'm fast, but I'm just coming out of the womb."

- RHP Joe Kelly, who scored the winning run as a pinch runner Wednesday.


1B Lance Berkman (bruised right knee) had to leave the July 24 game after being hit by a pitch on the exact spot where he underwent surgery earlier this season. He appeared as a pinch hitter July 25, and he isn't likely to start July 26.

LHP Jaime Garcia (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 16. After further examination, it was determined that he has tearing in his rotator cuff. He threw 40 pitches from 60 feet on flat ground for the first time in a month July 4. He threw live batting practice July 25. He might begin a rehab assignment in early August.

RHP Kyle McClellan (torn labrum in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 due to a strained right elbow, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He threw on flat ground for the first time July 3, but he subsequently felt shoulder pain. He had season-ending shoulder surgery July 10.

RHP Chris Carpenter (weak right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when he felt renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day, and he had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he was told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects, weakness in one's shoulder. A July 2 bullpen session was canceled. He underwent season-ending surgery July 19 to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.

Link to boxscore: St. Louis 3, Los Angeles 2 (12 innings)

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