REUTERS AND AP, ST LOUIS, MISSOURI
Albert Pujols drove home the winning run in the 15th inning as the St Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 in a marathon game lasting almost five hours on Wednesday.
Pujols’ single to deep center-field soared over Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, allowing Julio Lugo to score from second base.
The win, St Louis’ third in a row over Los Angeles, put the Cardinals (56-48) a half-game ahead of the Chicago Cubs (53-46) in the National League Central Division. Los Angeles (62-39) lead the West Division by seven.
With the Dodgers leading 1-0, Cardinals rookie Colby Rasmus forced the game into extra innings in the bottom of the ninth. Both teams added a run in the 11th inning before St Louis’ Brendan Ryan led off the bottom of the 15th with a triple.
However, he was thrown out at home plate when he tried to score on Mark DeRosa’s grounder.
Pujols was up next and provided the winning run with his third hit of the night.
The Dodgers have now lost a season-high four in a row. Blake Hawksworth (1-0) got the win for St Louis by pitching the last three innings. The loss went to Jeff Weaver (5-4), who was on the mound for the final two two-third innings. LA starter Clayton Kershaw shut out the Cards for eight innings.
PADRES 7, REDS 1
At Cincinnati, the San Diego Padres earned their first consecutive wins in a month when rookie Mat Latos and two relievers combined on a one-hitter to beat the Reds.
Latos (2-1) earned his second straight victory by allowing only Jerry Hairston Jr’s homer in the fourth inning. Greg Burke and Mike Ekstrom both pitched one inning to complete the Padres’ second one-hitter of the season.
Adrian Gonzalez and Kyle Blanks homered off struggling Aaron Harang (5-12), and San Diego won two straight games for the first time since June 27 and June 28. The Padres have lost 20 of 26 since July 1.
MARLINS 6, BRAVES 3
At Miami, pitcher Josh Johnson hit a three-run homer in another solid start to lift Florida.
His shot in the fourth off Kenshin Kawakami (5-8) was the second home run of his career. Johnson (10-2) allowed eight hits in six innings before the bullpen shut out the Braves the rest of the way.
NL batting leader Hanley Ramirez had an RBI triple in the first and added his 16th homer in the fifth. Dan Uggla hit his 18th homer in the inning to put the Marlins ahead 6-1.
Casey Kotchman and Garret Anderson homered for all the Braves’ scoring.
In other NL games, it was:
• Giants 1, Pirates 0, 10 innings
• Cubs 12, Astros 0
• Diamondbacks 4, Phillies 0
• Brewers 7, Nationals 5
AP, ARLINGTON, TEXAS
Curtis Granderson led off the game with a home run and connected again in the second inning as the Detroit Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 13-5 in the American League on Wednesday. The Tigers scored in each of the first seven innings and matched a season high with 19 hits.
Miguel Cabrera, who had four hits and four RBIs, and Marcus Thames homered for Detroit. Andruw Jones homered twice for Texas. Justin Verlander (12-5) tied for the major league lead in wins. He boosted his AL-leading strikeout total to 172 while pitching seven innings.
Granderson homered on the third pitch of the game from Scott Feldman (9-4). It was his 20th career leadoff home run.
In other AL games, it was:
• Yankees 6, Rays 2
• Athletics 8, Red Sox 6