One Run Is Enough To Move Dodgers Into First Place

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Manny Ramirez's double in the eighth inning scored the game's only run in a 1-0 Dodgers win against the Cardinals in the middle test of a three-game series from Chavez Ravine.

Hiroki Kuroda tossed seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball with six strikeouts and a walk. The hit made a winner of Hong-Chih Kuo (2-1), who pitched a scoreless eighth and Jonathan Broxton picked up his 15th save by stranding a runner in the ninth for Los Angeles' third straight win.

Chris Carpenter matched Kuroda through seven frames, scattering six hits and fanning five with one walk before the Cardinal bullpen coughed up the lead. Trever Miller (0-1) put the winning run on and Kyle McClellan surrendered the hit to Ramirez.

"I had a good game plan going in. They have a quality lineup over there and I was able to execute. We took a tough one last night and took another tough one tonight," said Carpenter, whose Cardinals will look to avoid the sweep on Wednesday.

Newcomer Randy Winn had two of the six hits for the Cardinals, who have lost three in a row for the first time since May 11-13.

Rafael Furcal greeted Miller with a single to center leading off the eighth and Andre Ethier reached with a one-out base hit to bring McClellan out from the pen.

Ramirez went the other way with a second-pitch fastball that dropped just before the short fence in right field and was touched by a fan. Furcal scored what proved to be the all-important run with Ethier being sent back to second.

The hop proved inconsequential both with the final score and after James Loney was intentionally walked to load the bases. McClellan did well to limit the damage from there by fanning Casey Blake and Blake DeWitt to end the inning.

Broxton got a big first out in the ninth as Albert Pujols swung through a slider to end an 11-pitch at-bat. Matt Holliday followed with a single, but remained at first with a Ryan Ludwick strikeout and Skip Schumaker's broken- bat dribbler back to the mound for the final out.

Both starters dominated and worked quickly through the early innings. Ethier doubled to start the fourth, but Carpenter retired the next three.

Ludwick and Schumaker had back-to-back one-out singles in the seventh to leaver runners at the corners. Yadier Molina killed the potential rally with a double-play ball.

In the bottom half, LA looked to take the lead after DeWitt doubled and rounded third on a Russell Martin single. Ludwick's throw in from right nailed the runner dead to rights several strides before the plate, and Kuroda pitched out of the inning.

"It was a classic tonight, postseason baseball," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre. "Carpenter did a great job getting out of jams, and Kuroda, that's the best I've seen him."

The series features a rematch of last year's National League Division Series, swept by the Dodgers in three games....St. Louis won five of seven versus Los Angeles in the regular season last year...Colby Rasmus sat for a second straight night due to a tight left calf. He was named the NL Player of the Week on Monday after hitting .500 (11-for-22) with three homers and nine RBI last week...The Dodgers have won three of their last four and are 7-2 on a 13- game homestand...St. Louis dropped Monday's decision, 12-4.

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