But this game, 6-1 and all, was a different.
For the most part the club hit the ball hard, although few of them eluded the Cardinals' gloves. Each man in the starting lineup, save Juan Pierre and Ramon Martinez, got good wood on a pitch or two but most of them were right at a fielder.
James Loney walked, lined to center, singled to center and drove Ankiel back to the wall on his fourth at-bat. Luis Gonzalez lined to right, doubled to right-center, scoring Loney in the sixth, then crushed a shot that just hooked foul at the pole in right field.
Andre Ethier, making a strong bid to become a regular, doubled to right and doubled to left leading off the fifth and seventh innings but each time three he was still on the second-base bag when the inning ended. He came into the game hitting .354 since mid-July.
Mark Sweeney hit for Lowe in the seventh and drove a long shot that was caught in front of the right field fence. And a frustrated Russell Martin got all of a pitch that Ankiel made a twisting, diving, over the shoulder falling down catch in deep right.
OK, none of them resulted in a run, but if you keep hitting them that hard, they will eventually drop in.
Roberto Hernandez took over for Lowe in the seventh and two of his pitches were driven out of the park. The first, Ankiel's second of the day, went about 15 rows deep in right. The second was clouted over the center field fence but Matt Kemp, taking over for the ineffective Juan Pierre, jumped and reached over the wall to make the catch.
The first four hitters in the Cardinal lineup had seven of the nine hits, scored five of the runs and knocked in all six. The 3-4-5-6 hitters in the Dodger lineup (Loney, Gonzalez, Garciaparra and Ethier) had all five Dodger hits and the only run and run batted in.
Lowe, if not in pain was in serious discomfort by what was termed an labrum injury to his hip, and was tagged early and hurt by a pair of errors in the third inning by shortstop Rafael Furcal, finishing his six inning stint having allowed seven hits, five runs --three earned-- and struck out five as his record slid to 8-11.
It seemed to take the veteran righthander a while to adjust to his injured hip, and during the adjustment he allowed a single and a homer to Ankiel in the first inning to put the Dodgers directly behind the two-ball.
As you watched him, the specter of Dizzy Dean and later Van Lingle Mungo, pitching with an injury, altering his delivery to avoid the pain and permanently injuring his pitching arm.
In the third, Furcal booted a grounder off the bat of Adam Kennedy, -- Miles beat out a bunt down the third base line and Ankiel was held to a single, loading the bases.
Furcal's second boot of the inning allowed one run and Jim Edmonds line shot drove in two more, putting the club behind the five-ball and giving the Cardinals well more runs than they would need.
Lefty Mark Hendrickson (4-6, 4.63) opposes Anthony Reyes (1-11, 5.66) in Sunday's series and road trip finale this afternoon.
Score by innings Los Angeles 000 001 000-1 St. Louis 203 000 10x-6 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 4 0 0 0 .277 Martin c 4 0 0 0 .295 Loney 1b 3 1 1 0 .322 Gonzalez lf 4 0 1 1 .276 Garciaparra 3b 4 0 1 0 .281 Ethier rf 4 0 2 0 .299 Pierre cf 2 0 0 0 .277 Kemp ph-cf 1 0 0 0 .315 Martinez 2b 3 0 0 0 .176 Lowe p 2 0 0 0 .216 Sweeney ph 1 0 0 0 .250 Hernandez p 0 0 0 0 .000 Seanez p 0 0 0 0 .000 Totals 32 1 5 1 St. Louis 33 6 9 6 Errors- Furcal 2 (17). 2B- Ethier 2 (23). Gonzalez (20). RBI- Gonzalez 53. LOB- Los Angeles 5, St. Louis 4. DP- Furcal and Loney. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Lowe (8-11) 6.0 7 5-3 0 5 3.61 Hernandez 1.0 1 1-1 1 0 5.71 Seanez 1.0 0 0-0 0 1 3.93 T- 2:27. Att- 44,2650.Players of the Month-- Las Vegas first baseman John Lindsey has been named the organization's player of the month, while Double-A pitcher James McDonald and Class A hurler Jesus Rodriguez have been selected as co-pitchers of the month for July, according to Dodgers director of player development De Jon Watson.
Lindsey, 30, led all Dodgers Minor Leaguers with nine home runs, 39 RBIs and a .716 slugging percentage during July, while also hitting .337 (32-for-95). McDonald, 22, finished the month 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA (seven earned runs in 25 2/3 innings pitched) in five games for Double-A Jacksonville and Class A Inland Empire. In 25 innings during the month of July, Rodriguez allowed just six earned runs for an ERA of 2.16.
Dodger Blue Notes-- James Loney has five homers in the big leagues this season and all have come with at least one man aboard. Loney's two-run blast to win the series opener was his fourth of the season to go along with one three-run homer. Of his nine career big league homers, only two are solo shots, as he has five two-run homers, one three-run homer and a grand slam. His only homer in the minors this season was a solo shot on the first pitch he saw for Triple-A Las Vegas on April 5. ...Since the All-Star Break of last season, Takashi Saito has posted a 1.78 ERA (15 ER/82.0 IP), the second-best mark of all National League pitchers with 60 or more innings during that span. The only NL hurler with a better ERA over the past year-plus is Billy Wagner (1.76), but both closers gave up runs in their outings last night. The only other pitchers in baseball with a better ERA during that span are Francisco Rodriguez (1.72) and Joe Nathan (1.73). ...Roberto Hernandez has appeared in 997 career games and is close to becoming just the 12th pitcher in Major League history to pitch in 1,000 games. He currently ranks 12th on the all-time games pitched list, six behind Rich "Goose" Gossage (1,002).