Cards dodge hard loss

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

ST. LOUIS — Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run home run in the 11th inning off Jason Johnson, a starter called into duty, to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

Ludwick' 28th homer, his fifth in four games, allowed the Cardinals to recover after the bullpen blew a four-run ninth-inning lead for its major league-leading 27th blown save.

Adam Kennedy singled to start the inning and Ludwick hit a 2-1 pitch over the center-field wall with one out for his third career game-winning homer, and first since May 17 against the Rays.

Jaime Garcia (1-1) pitched a scoreless 11th for the Cardinals.

Johnson (1-1) worked one-third of an inning two days after throwing 87 pitches in 4 1/3 innings in a 9-3 victory over Arizona.

Both teams missed chances to end it earlier. The Dodgers stranded five runners and the Cardinals four in the ninth and 10th.

The Dodgers' Manny Ramirez went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and trotted home with the tying run in a four-run ninth on Casey Blake's sacrifice fly.

Chris Carpenter, the 2005 NL Cy Young winner, threw five economical innings in his second start of the season for St. Louis. He allowed only three singles and needed only 51 pitches in an outing likely shortened by a pair of rain delays.

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