Matt Kemp Homers To Dispatch Ryan Franklin, Cardinals In Series Closer

Jaime Garcia, Kyle Lohse, Kyle McClellan, and Chris Carpenter will be the starters for the Cardinals, who hope to see continued production from Colby Rasmus and Lance Berkman, as well as a resurgent Albert Pujols.

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Ryan Franklin Blows Fourth Save, St. Louis Cardinals Fall 2-1 To Dodgers

The St. Louis Cardinals found themselves just a little short of road-trip magic in the last game of their series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, falling 2-1 after Matt Kemp hit a ninth-inning walk-off home run against beleaguered Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin. It was a rare save situation for Franklin and a rare pitchers' duel for the Cardinals; Chris Carpenter threw seven scoreless innings, striking out six and walking zero, while Chad Billingsley went eight scoreless with 11 strikeouts to pace the Dodgers. Jonathan Broxton picked up the win afrter allowing a home run on an RBI single from David Freese, who drove in Matt Holliday with two outs after Holliday's second double of the afternoon. 

Matt Kemp, who's off to a while-hot start to his season, took Franklin deep to center field in Franklin's first at-bat of the day. Andre Ethier had doubled off of lefty-specialist Trever Miller to start the inning. 

The Cardinals will have a day off before they return home to take on the Washington Nationals on Tuesday. 

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St. Louis Cardinals Offense Scores Again, Los Angeles Dodgers Fall 9-2

Allen Craig stepped in at right field for Lance Berkman Saturday night, and the St. Louis Cardinals' offense didn't skip a beat—Craig homered to chase Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw and Albert Pujols picked up two more hits as the Cardinals topped the Dodgers by a score of 9-2. Kyle McClellan picked up the win, going seven innings without a walk and allowing just one earned run. 

Kershaw, squeezed all night by a tight strike zone from umpire Joe West, walked five, struck out five, and allowed five runs in nearly-five innings, taking the loss before being removed from the game in favor of former Cardinal Mike MacDougal. The Cardinals brought a righty-stacked lineup to face Kershaw, and the two pieces they changed paid off in a big way on Saturday; Craig was 3-4 with a home run in place of Berkman, who struggles as a right-handed hitter, while little-used utility infielder Tyler Greene was 1-3 with two stolen bases as Skip Schumaker's replacement at second base. 

Chris Carpenter will start the last game of the Cardinals' successful road trip, taking the mound against Chad Billingsley at 3:10 PM CDT. After an incredibly rough start against the Arizona Diamondbacks his record stands at 0-2, with an ERA of 5.82.

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Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman Lead St. Louis Cardinals Past Dodgers

Lance Berkman hit his fifth and six home runs of the road trip and Albert Pujols hit two home runs of his own to propel the St. Louis Cardinals past the Los Angeles Dodgers by a score of 11-2 Friday, finally propelling the astoundingly hot Cardinals to the .500 mark. The Cardinals have scored at least eight runs in their last five games after a start that saw them score three or fewer in their first six. Colby Rasmus doubled thrice, and Yadier Molina had four hits and reached base five times. Every Cardinal starter but Skip Schumaker had at least one hit, including Kyle Lohse, who picks up his second win of the season with 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball, striking out six and walking just one. Jon Garland took the loss in his first start of 2011, allowing five earned runs in four innings before being removed. 

After a 2-6 start the Cardinals have won five of their last six; they'll remain in Los Angeles on Saturday and Sunday before returning home on April 19 for a Busch Stadium series against the Washington Nationals. After that it's one of the first big NL Central series of the year, when the first-place Cincinnati Reds come to visit over the weekend. 

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Jackie Robinson Celebrated Before Dodgers Game Friday

Jackie Robinson was celebrated before and during the Los Angeles Dodgers’ game against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night, with both teams wearing Robinson’s 42 on their backs during the game and the night beginning with pregame ceremonies dedicated to the former Dodger, who broke baseball’s color line in 1947. Don Newcombe, Maury Wills, and current Dodgers Matt Kemp and James Loney participated in a panel discussion earlier Friday.

Major League Baseball has gone all-out in celebrating Jackie Robinson day Friday, launching a social media/video supersite called iam42.com with a number of videos from current and former MLB personnel about what Robinson’s legacy means to them. A cursory refresh showed Cardinal Jake Westbrook among others who spoke on why they were 42.

On The Run Mobil will be raffling off the Cardinals’ Jackie Robinson jerseys, with donations being matched by Anheuser Busch, according to the St. Louis broadcast. The jerseys will be awarded to the winners when the Dodgers come to St. Louis to play their next series with the Cardinals.

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Lance Berkman Homers Twice Vs. Dodgers, Sixth In Single Road Trip

Lance Berkman hit his fifth and sixth home runs of the Cardinals’ last five games Friday night, terrorizing Jon Garland and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the course of vaulting from last place to second in the Major Leagues in home runs. Berkman’s home run outburst began with two opposite-field shots in Arizona, and he’s continued it Friday with two pulled deep into the Dodger Stadium stands.

Berkman’s 2010 season, split between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees, started considerably more slowly; he didn’t hit his sixth home run of that season until June 3, going .246/.363/.430 over those 40 games. He finished the season at .248/.368/.413, with 14 home runs and 58 RBI; the Cardinals have to be thankful for his off year at this point, considering it led to his availability on a one year contract.

Berkman last hit 30 home runs in 2007, and last managed 40 the year before that. He has 331 in a career that began, the last of the Killer B’s off the assembly line, in 1999, the team’s last season in the Astrodome.

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