Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Matt Holliday's two-base error with two outs in the ninth completely flipped an Adam Wainwright gem into a huge National League Division Series hole, as Los Angeles rallied for two runs after the error to down St. Louis, 3-2, in Game 2 at Dodger Stadium.
"I couldn't see the ball," said Holliday. "I lost it in the lights. You come in for the ball, get a good read on it, but at the last minute I lost it in the lights. It hit my body, hit my glove, unfortunate timing. It wasn't because of lack of effort. I just couldn't see the ball."
Mark Loretta, 0-for-15 lifetime versus Ryan Franklin (0-1), looped a pinch-hit, game-winning single into no-man's land in left-center field, scoring Casey Blake with the winning run. The Dodgers had nobody on base before Holliday's miscue.
"The series is far from over," said Loretta. "We are going to have to battle to get another win."
St. Louis got a vintage performance from one of its two stoppers, as Wainwright didn't give up a hit until Andre Ethier's homer in the fourth and dominated through the eighth. He left with a 2-1 edge because of Holliday's second-inning solo homer and Colby Rasmus' RBI double in the seventh.
It was all for naught.
James Loney sliced an apparent game-ending sinking liner to a hard-charging Holliday in left, but the ball caromed off his chest for a two-base error. Blake then walked and Ronnie Belliard's single to center plated pinch-runner Juan Pierre. The runners advanced on a passed ball and Russell Martin then walked before Loretta punched a pitch off the knob into left-center for the game-winner.
"I can't remember any of them (being as crazy as this ending)," said Martin. "It was so awesome when I saw the ball in the air. I thought I was floating around the bases. It was an incredible game, just awesome."
The Dodgers now lead the best-of-five series, 2-0, with Game 3 scheduled for Saturday night in St. Louis. George Sherrill (1-0) hurled a scoreless top of the ninth to pick up the victory.
The Cardinals lost back-to-back starts from Chris Carpenter and Wainwright for just the second time this season.
"Tough one to swallow," said Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan. "I'm at a loss for words."
After hitting around Cardinals ace Carpenter on Wednesday, the Dodgers didn't have nearly the success against Wainwright, who cruised through minimal difficulty until the eighth. He sawed off Matt Kemp on a grounder to first to escape a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, capping a three-hit, one-walk outing with seven strikeouts.
Clayton Kershaw was again the recipient of little run support, giving up just two runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and one walk over 6 2/3 frames. The southpaw had an ERA under 3.00, but just a .500 record during the regular season, and the trend continued. The Dodgers scored just 1.54 runs per game in his last 11 outings then managed just Ethier's solo shot versus Wainwright before the ninth-inning rally.
St. Louis scored first as Holliday made his presence felt with a solo shot in the second. Holliday drilled a curveball quickly out of the park to left.
The Dodgers failed to muster any early offense before tying the contest in the fourth. Ethier looked at one fastball for a strike then jumped on the second, clubbing a home run to dead center field and breaking up Wainwright's no-hit bid.
In a game of few hits and even fewer offensive threats, St. Louis finally pushed across a run in the seventh. Mark DeRosa singled to center then Rasmus drove a shot over the head of Kemp in center. DeRosa came around to score, as Rasmus was thrown out in a rundown between second and third.
Trever Miller retired Ethier to start the ninth then Franklin induced a Manny Ramirez flyout before Holliday's mistake opened the door.
The Dodgers pitchers walked just one batter...St. Louis won five of seven meetings during the regular season but has followed that with two losses at Dodger Stadium...St. Louis, one game after leaving 14 men on base, went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven on Thursday.
— Via The Sports Network