LA roughs up Morris, keeps offense rolling

Friday, July 11, 2003

ST. LOUIS -- Shawn Green had four hits and scored four as the Los Angeles Dodgers got production from an underachieving offense for a third straight game, beating Matt Morris and the Cardinals 9-4 Thursday night.

Jolbert Cabrera and Adrian Beltre each drove in two runs for the Dodgers, who swept the two-game series. Los Angeles won consecutive games for the first time since June 20-21, going 4-13 since then.

Scott Rolen homered, doubled twice and had three RBIs for the Cardinals. St. Louis has lost four in a row for the first time since June 13 to 16. The NL Central champions fell to one game above .500 for the first time since June 1.

The Dodgers, who entered with an NL-low .241 batting average, scored their most runs since May 9 when they beat Montreal 9-5. They've scored 20 runs in the last three games, but prior to that had totaled 20 runs in 11 games, and this was only the fifth game all season they've scored seven or more runs.

Morris' midseason troubles continued as he allowed six runs, five earned, on 10 hits in five innings.

Morris (8-6) has experienced mechanical difficulties and reduced velocity brought on by a sore shoulder, giving up 38 earned runs in his last 41 innings covering eight starts. His ERA climbed to 4.19 -- he was at 2.26 following consecutive shutouts in mid-May.

Odalis Perez (6-7) gave up four runs on eight hits in five innings. He has won consecutive starts after losing five straight decisions.

Paul Quantrill got his first save.

Six of the first seven batters reached safely in the first against Morris, with Paul Lo Duca driving in the first run with a single and Cabrera and Beltre hitting back-to-back two-run singles.

The Cardinals answered with three runs in the bottom of the first on consecutive doubles by Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols, and a two-run homer by Rolen, his 18th.

Chad Hermansen's RBI single drove in Green in the second to put the Dodgers ahead 6-3. Rolen had an RBI double in the fifth but his two-out fielding error on Cabrera's bouncer in the seventh allowed a run.

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