Homers Hurt but Wild Pitch Beats Dodgers 6-4

Chicks dig home runs and the average fan feels pretty much the same way, but after two home runs gave St. Louis a pair of runs and a Dodger home run got them back in the game, it was a two-run wild pitch that turned the tide in this game.

Cardinal outfielder Rick Ankiel, who has successfully morphed from the mound to the outfield to write an extremely feel-good story, smacked a pair of home runs that drove in four runs.

He homered in the first for a 1-0 St. Louis margin, then slammed a three-run shot in the eighth to put the Cardinals back on top 4-3.

Russell Martin homered with a runner on base n the fourth to give them a 2-1 lead and Jason Repko's single to left made it 3-1.

Tied 4-4 in the ninth, wildness by reliever Mike Myers loaded the bases and Greg Jones unleashed a wild pitch that glanced off he shinguard of catcher René Rivera and scored two runners, breaking the tie.

All the long and short ball antics took the spotlight away from Esteban Loaiza, who became the first Dodger to work into the fifth inning.

He seemed to solidify his claim to the fifth starting spot as he crafted five strong innings and left the game with a two-run lead.

He surrendered a two-out homer in the first and singles in the second and third innings while striking out three.

In the fourth, trailing 1-0, Rafael Furcal hit a ball to the track that was caught before Mark Sweeney walked.

Russell Martin slammed his second homer of the season to put the Dodgers on top 2-1. Blake DeWitt drew a walk before Delwyn Young and Repko singled to put a third run on the board.

The Dodgers had a couple chances to break the game open but could not push a run over.

In the sixth, after two Cardinals errors and a walk, pinch-hitter James Loney bounced out to third.

In the eighth, DeWitt walked and with Young at the plate they performed a perfect hit and run, with DeWitt ending up at third.

Repko's fly to right caught the wind and nearly went over the Cardinal right fielder's head. He made a falling catch, then threw wildly to first and Young ended up at third.

This time pinch-hitter Andre Ethier bounced back to the pitcher and Russ Mitchell fanned to end the threat.

St. Louis broke the game up in the ninth when, after retiring the first two Cardinals, Myers allowed a single and a pair of walks.

Greg Jones was rushed into the game but on a 2-2 pitch, he bounced a fastball of René Rivera's leg and two runs scored.

Trayvon Robinson walked and stole second with two out in the last of the ninth, but he was left there and Los Angeles slipped to 6-10-1 with only four games left in Florida.

Saturday the Dodgers hit the road to play Washington with RHP Brad Penny, RHP Scott Proctor, RHP Takashi Saito (in his first appearance of the season), and RHP Jason Johnson scheduled to pitch.
 Score by innings
St. Louis	100 000 032-6
Los Angeles	000 300 010-4

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Pierre lf	4  0  1  0  .205
 Maza 2b	1  0  0  0  .000
Furcal ss	4  0  0  0  .294
 RRivera c	1  0  0  0  .250
Sweeney 1b	3  1  1  0  .235
 Robinson cf	0  0  0  0  .000
Martin c	4  1  1  3  .226
 Brazoban p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Myers p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Jones p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Tomlin ph	1  0  0  0  .500
DeWitt 3b	2  1  0  0  .300
Young rf	4  0  2  0  .162
Repko cf	2  0  1  2  .259
DeJesus 2b	2  0  0  0  .211
 Ethier ph	1  0  0  0  .250
 JRivera ss	0  0  0  0  .000
Loaiza p	2  0  0  0  .000
 Broxton p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Loney ph	1  0  0  0  .293
 Beimel p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Mitchell ph	1  0  0  0  .000
  Totals	33 4 6 4
  St. Louis	31 6 4 4
			
 Error- Mitchell (1). HR- Martin
(). SB- DeWitt (1), Young (1),
Robinson (1). S- DeJesus.
SF- Repko. LOB- Los Angeles 9,
St. Louis 6. DP- Furcal, DeJesus
and Sweeney. 

 Los Angeles	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Loaiza	        5.0  3  1-1  1  3  3.00
Broxton	        1.0  0  0-0  1  0  2.25  
Beimel	        1.0  0  0-0  0  0  6.23
Brazoban	1.0  1  3-2  1  0 14.73
Myers (L)	0.2  1  2-2  2  0 10.13
Jones	        0.1  0  0-0  1  0  1.69
 WP- Jones. HBP- by Broxton.
T- 2:41.  Att- 7,137.
Quote of the Day-- "I don't know if LaRoche and I were battling for third," he said. "I never saw that," --' Nomar Garciaparra.

Nine Game Streak Russell Martins two-run home run in the fourth inning extended the club's homer streak to nine straight games (15 total).

  The Dodgers had homered in only two of their first eight contests (five total). In fact, the Dodgers have hit all 21 of their home runs in the last 13 games after going homerless in their first four contests of Grapefruit League play. 

Anger Management 101
Dodger coach Larry Bowa was steamed about the four errors committed in a game with Houston Friday and singled out 25-year-old Young as a Dodger who would have to step up and play better.

A converted outfielder by trade who last played second base in 2005, Young committed two of Los Angeles' four errors.

"He's got to do better than he's doing, I know that. He's not swinging the bat and he's not making plays. You've got to do one or the other. The guy has an opportunity," Bowa stated.

"Nobody here can complain about not getting a chance, with players hurt and part of the team in China."

Sutcliffe Has Cancer
Former Dodger Rookie of the Year pitcher (1979)and ESPN baseball analyst Rick Sutcliffe has been diagnosed with cancer.

Sutcliffe, 51, was diagnosed after a routine test during a physical revealed that he has a treatable and curable form of colon cancer. Sutcliffe will undergo chemotherapy and surgery over the next few months and said he hopes to make a healthy comeback later this year.

A Long Way to go for Sushi
After 7,500 miles that took over 18 hours, the Dodgers arrived in China for their weekend goodwill series against the San Diego Padres.

General manager Ned Colletti said, "This is a fantastic, untapped market. The Dodgers have been trailblazers in Japan and Korea and Taiwan, and I felt we should be the same in China."

Manager Joe Torre's split-squad consists mostly of prospects and non-roster invitees.

The two games will be played Saturday and Sunday afternoons (China time), with native Korean Chan Ho Park starting for the Dodgers on Saturday and Eric Stults starting on Sunday. Games will be played at the baseball venue for this summer's Olympic Games.

The Dodgers will work out on Friday, make a quick visit to the Great Wall of China, then attend a formal welcome reception at the team's hotel.

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