It took about a half inning longer than they might have expected, but the Dodgers got a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of their weekend series thanks to A.J. Ellis, who delivered a walk-off walk with one out in the ninth inning to score Elian Herrera with the winning run.
The bottom of the order for the Dodgers, the fifth through eighth spots in their lineup, combined to go 10-for-16 with three walks, three runs, and six RBI on the night.
Lance Berkman hit his first home run of the season, a pinch-hit Stairsian bomb with two outs in the ninth inning off Kenley Jansen, who suffered his second blown save of the season.
James Loney gave the Dodgers the lead with a seventh inning RBI single, one of three hits on the night for Loney. He drove in a pair of runs and has hit .382/.462/.500 with four doubles over his last 10 games.
That bottom of the order for the Dodgers struck first in the bottom of the second, using right field and right center field as their extra-base hit playground. Back-to-back doubles by Adam Kennedy and Loney produced one run, and they were followed by an A.J. Ellis single for one run and a Tony Gwynn Jr. triple for another run and a 3-0 lead.
The Cardinals took advantage of a pair of miscues in the top of the third inning. After Tyler Greene singled to lead off the inning, A.J. Ellis had him picked off first base, but his throw caught James Loney by surprise and got away, allowing Greene to reach second. With first base no longer occupied, Shane Robinson was allowed to reach base when his third strike was a wild pitch.
A sacrifice fly by Rafael Furcal and a single by Matt Carpenter cut the Dodgers' lead to 3-2, but manager Don Mattingly wasn't around to see the single. Mattingly was ejected for the second time this season as he argued balls and strikes from the dugout, to the dismay of home plate umpire Tom Hallion.
Matt Holliday followed with a two-run home run halfway up the pavilion in left field to give the Cardinals a one-run lead, but the Dodgers answered back with an RBI single by Kennedy in the bottom of the third to tie the score at 4-4.
Outside of the third inning Lilly allowed only one other hit, and no runs. In his seven innings, Lilly allowed four runs, all unearned, on four hits, with no walks and six strikeouts.
Mark Ellis appeared to injure his leg in the top of the seventh inning, when he was taken out on a hard slide by Greene at second base. Ellis stayed on the ground for quite some time as he was examined by assistant athletic trainer Nancy Patterson, but stayed in the game to finish the inning, then batted in the bottom of the inning.
Ellis was removed on defense in the top of the eighth inning in a double switch.
Home Runs: Matt Holliday (9), Lance Berkman (1)
WP - Kenley Jansen (3-0): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 3 strikeouts
LP - Fernando Salas (0-2): 1/3 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 3 walks, 1 strikeout