Cards Bury Dodgers Under Five Home Runs

A nightmare third inning cost, the Dodgers the first game of the Division playoffs, as Odalis Perez was buried under a pair of home runs and five runs that turned a 1-0 game into a no-contest. He allowed for homers in all and left with two-out in the third trailing 6-0. Elmer Dessens and Giovanni Carrara were infected by the dinger virus, allowing another pair of shots that set a new major league record for five home runs by one team in a post-season game.

Albert Pujols slugged a two-out homer in the first inning after the Dodgers were unable to convert a pair of singles in the top of the frame into a run. The game went 1-0 into the bottom of the third before disaster overtook the Dodgers. All the action happened after Perez easily eliminated the first two Cardinals.

Old nemesis Larry Walker banged a shot into the right field stands, Pujols singled, Scott Roland walked and Edgar Renteria fired a double down the left field foul line to score two. Before Manager Jim Tracy could get anyone up in the bullpen, Jim Edmons capped the inning with a homer and suddenly the good guys were down 6-0.

Dessens got the final out in the third, then served up a homer to Mike Matheny on the first pitch of the fourth inning. 7-0.

With two out, Cesar Izturis doubled off Walker's glove in right and Jayson Werth doubled to left to get Los Angeles on the board. 7-1.

In the sixth, Adrian Beltré got his second bloop single of the game and scored two outs later when Alex Cora sliced a triple to left-center. 7-2.

Walker got the run back in the seventh, booming his second homer of the game off Giovanni Carrara. 8-2.

Poised for one of their favorite rallies, the Dodgers disappointed in the ninth when Milton Bradley and Shawn Green went out softly. Then Tom Wilson, who had a single in eight trips during the regular season, slugged a homer for the Dodgers that only delayed the inevitable. Izturis grounded out, leaving Los Angeles with a 0-1 record in their first round action.

Izturis, Werth and Beltré had a pair of hits each. Hits by Bradley, Cora and Wilson gave L.A. a 9-8 margin in hits, about the only good thing that happened to the Dodgers during the long afternoon.

Jeff Weaver start Game 2 Tuesday on the FOX network. Since the Division Series is the best three of five, a win is vital for Dodger hopes.

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