Sliced, Diced, Pureed … and Swept

The Dodgers were handled roughly by the St. Louis Cardinals, who are obviously not advocates of Miss Manners who stresses the proper etiquette involved in treating guests. Beating them four straight times and out-scoring them, 34-6 is just not good form, you know, and very well may be detrimental to their health in the N.L. West race.

The two clubs were constant rivals when St. Louis played in Sportsman's Park on Grand Avenue before changing to its name Busch Stadium when purchased by the beer manufacturers. They contined to wrestle each time they met in the downtown park and things are not much different now that a new park has been built hard next to the right field portion of their old stadium nearly under the arch.

Albert Pujols was main protagonist in the series, adding a 4-for-5 afternoon with three RBI to his series total of 9-for-17 (.519)with two homers, including one in the 14th inning off Odalis Perez on Thursday night.

St. Louis rode his efforts against Brad Penny (10-3) in a 11-3 victory Sunday afternoon that lost all of its mystery as early as the fifth inning when they took a 6-1 lead against the N.L. All-Star Game starter .

The Dodgers are proud of their rookies, and have every right to be, but Anthony Reyes worked five solid innings and fellow rookie Chris Duncan had his second straight three-hit game for the Cardinals as they swept a four-game series from the Dodgers for the first time since winning a pair of doubleheaders on July 7-8, 1987.

Penny worked two strong innings in the summer classic, striking out three in the first inning and allowing one hit. But he was no match for the suddenly-sizzling Cardinals who have seemingly found their groove after floundering about in the first half of the season. The win was their seven in a row, the team's best streak since a nine-game run in 2004.

The Los Angeles offence was named Olmedo Saenz this afternoon, just as the first game was named Nomar Garciaparra and the third game named J.D. Drew. The second game had no name at all since they were shut out.

Saenz homered in the second and added a double and a single, for the Dodgers who have lost five of six. They totaled six runs in the series -- and average of 1.5 per game. Kenny Lofton had three hits and a steal and Andre Ethier had a pair of singles

Pujols knocked in Duncan three times in the first five innings and between them they were a combined 6-for-6. Pujols had an RBI double in the first, a run-scoring single in the third that put the Cardinals ahead for good at 3-2, and an RBI double in the fifth.

He added an infield hit against Perez in the seventh, making him 11-for-17 (.647) with five homers against the Dodgers reliever who has been beaten like kindergarten drum most of the season.

The Dodgers dropped to 46-46 on the season but are still in the N.L. West "race", trailing San Diego and San Francisco. After a day off, they move to New Mexico to battle Arizona for three games before returing home to meet the (gasp!) St. Louis bullies again for three.
  Score by innings
Dodgers   020 000 000- 2
St. Louis 102 030 32x-11

Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss    4 0 0 0 .269
Lofton cf    3 0 3 1 .295
Drew rf      4 0 0 0 .283
Kent 2b      4 0 1 0 .263
 Martinez 2b 0 0 0 0 .333
Saenz 1b     4 2 3 0 .310
Ethier lf    4 1 2 0 .341
Izturis 3b   4 0 1 0 .282
Martin c     4 0 1 1 .281
Penny p      2 0 0 0 .231
 Beimel p    0 0 0 0 .000
 Ledee ph    0 0 0 0 .242
 Cruz  ph    1 0 0 0 .234
 Perez p     0 0 0 0 .067
   Totals   34  3 11  3
   St.Louis 40 11 15 11

  Error- Izturis. 2B - Ethier (11); 
Saenz (13). HR - Saenz (8). RBI - 
Saenz (36), Martin (36), Izturis 
(8). LOB- Los Angeles 5. St. Louis 
6. SB- Lofton (16).
  Dodgers     in  h r-er bb so era
Penny (10-3) 5.0 10  6-6  1 5 3.26
Beimel       1.0  0  0-0  0 1 3.00
Perez        2.0  5  5-4  0 1 7.19
 WP- Penny. Time- 2:49. Attendance- 44,741.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Third baseman Cesar Izturis left for Los Angeles after the game for the birth of his second child on Monday. The team will play a man short for a few days. ... Cardinals CF Jim Edmonds made a nice running catch at the warning track to rob Andre Ethier of extra bases and perhaps two RBI in top of the third. ...1B Nomar Garciaparra, hitless in the last three games after a 22-game hitting streak was 1-for-13 since the All-Star break, and was given the day off.