VINA'S CLUTCH PLAY HALTS DODGERS RALLY SECOND BASEMAN ROBS GRISSOM IN NINTH ST. LOUIS 3, DODGERS 2.Byline: Brian Dohn Staff Writer
ST. LOUIS - Scoreboard watching doesn't become an art until September Until September is a 1984 romantic drama set in France. It stars Karen Allen as an American tourist in Paris who falls in love with a married Frenchman (Thierry Lhermitte). External links , but Dodgers manager Jim Tracy
It's part of being in first at the usually-magical Independence Day mark.
Tracy also is acutely aware the Dodgers' season won't hinge on Verb 1. hinge on - be contingent on; "The outcomes rides on the results of the election"; "Your grade will depends on your homework"
depend on, depend upon, devolve on, hinge upon, turn on, ride this 10-game stretch against Arizona and St. Louis, but a strong performance certainly would solidify his team's standing.
What the scoreboard showed on a typically humid summer day in the nation's heartland was that Arizona gained another game in the standings thanks to its victory against San Francisco and the Dodgers' 3-2 loss to St. Louis at Busch Stadium This article is about the current sports venue in St. Louis, Missouri that opened in 2006. For the stadium in St. Louis that operated from 1966 to 2005, see Busch Memorial Stadium. For the ballpark known as "Busch Stadium" from 1953 to 1966, see Sportsman's Park. on Thursday.
The Dodgers' second consecutive loss cut their lead over Arizona to 1 1/2 games in the National League West.
Having won their share of one-run games, the Dodgers fell hard by going 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position In the sport of baseball, a baserunner is said to be in scoring position when he is on second or third base. The distinction between being on first base and second or third base is that a runner on first can usually only score if the batter hits an extra base hit, while a runner on Thursday. They remain 14-7 in one-run games, but talk after this defeat centered on a ball they believed was marked as a game-tying single.
Cesar Izturis was on third and Dave Hansen
``When he hit it, I thought it was smoked,'' Hansen said. ``I thought it was going to get through.''
Instead, Gold Glove second baseman Fernando Vina ranged behind the bag, cut the ball off and threw Grissom out. Izturis scored and Hansen moved to third, but Paul Lo Duca Paul Anthony Lo Duca (born April 12, 1972 in Brooklyn, New York) is a catcher in Major League Baseball who plays for the New York Mets. Previously, Lo Duca played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-2004) and Florida Marlins (2004-2005). lined out to right fielder Eli Marrero in a bid for a fourth hit.
``We were a little sluggish, you could tell,'' said Lo Duca, citing the 5 p.m. local start time after arriving at the team hotel at 5:30 a.m. ``When I first hit it, the first thing that went through my mind was, `Yeah, I got a base hit.' It stayed in the air and was right at him.''
The loss spoiled an uncharacteristically consistent start by left-hander Kazuhisa Ishii, who lost his third consecutive start but brought optimism from his outing. Ishii (11-5) displayed few problems with his control but was victimized on solo homers by Jim Edmonds in the first inning and Albert Pujols in the fourth.
Tino Martinez added a sacrifice fly in the sixth to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead, but Tracy was satisfied with Ishii's six innings. He allowed four hits, walked three and struck out seven, but he stayed away from the big inning.
``People may say it's good, but I have to pitch better,'' Ishii said through an interpreter. ``I have to pitch better, and I'm looking forward to that. Although we lost, it was a good start going into the All-Star break. But we lost, so it can't be that good.''
The loss leaves the Dodgers 2-2 during this 10-game stretch, which concludes with four games against Arizona next weekend after the All-Star break. The Dodgers won two of three against the Diamondbacks before traveling to play the Cardinals.
``It's an important stretch,'' Tracy said. ``Is it a life-or-death situation? No, it's not. And it's not because of the remarkable things we've done to this point of the season. To me, it's also important because if you play .500 against these clubs, or you do a little bit better than that, you've got other teams looking up at that saying we've played X number of games against first- and second-place clubs, and we haven't been able to dent them.''
(color) St. Louis' Fernando Vina, left, forces out Adrian Beltre in the fourth inning. Vina later blunted the Dodgers' ninth-inning rally Thursday.
James A. Finley/Associated Press