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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ethier gives Dodgers 4-3 win over Cardinals in 10

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Andre Ethier singled home the winning run in the 10th inning and Luis Maza hit his first big league homer, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

Russell Martin drove in two runs and touted prospect Clayton Kershaw pitched six effective innings for the Dodgers in his major league debut.

Terry Tiffee, recalled Saturday from Triple-A, pinch-hit for Los Angeles closer Takashi Saito (3-1) and led off the 10th with a bloop single against Mike Parisi (0-1). The right-hander then turned Juan Pierre's comebacker into a force play, but Pierre advanced on a wild pitch and Ethier lined Parisi's 3-2 delivery down the right-field line with two outs.

Saito struck out Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick in succession in the top of the 10th and finished his two-inning stint with five Ks.

Kershaw allowed two runs and five hits, striking out seven and walking one. The left-hander threw 69 of his 102 pitches for strikes, recording his first three outs on punchouts.

Kershaw was the seventh overall pick in the 2006 draft out of Highland Park High School in Dallas. He was promoted from Double-A Jacksonville to take the fifth spot in the rotation for at least three turns.

The original plan was for him to pitch on Tuesday, but manager Joe Torre and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt decided instead to give Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda an extra day of rest because they both pitched deep into the game their last time out.

Kershaw, who turned 20 on March 19, got a chance to pitch at Dodger Stadium in the team's final exhibition game against the World Series champion Boston Red Sox and tossed four scoreless innings of relief with six strikeouts. During spring training, he gave up one run over 14 innings and struck out 19.

St. Louis starter Todd Wellemeyer gave up three runs and five hits over six innings with four strikeouts and no walks. The right-hander was removed for a pinch-hitter in the seventh, when the Cardinals tied it 3-all on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Miles, who was batting for Brendan Ryan.

The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in the fourth as Ethier scored from first base on Martin's double off the center-field fence.

Brian Barton scored the tying run for St. Louis in the sixth, when third baseman Blake DeWitt charged Ludwick's slow bouncer and made a high throw to the plate that Martin had to reach for as Barton slid across. Barton reached on a pop-fly single that first baseman James Loney lost in the sun near the foul line.

But Martin put the Dodgers back in front 3-2 in the bottom half with a two-out RBI single after Pierre led off the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second by Maza. The hit ended the Dodgers' 0-for-26 drought with runners in scoring position.

After striking out his first batter, Skip Schumaker, Kershaw asked that the ball taken out of play for a keepsake as the crowd of 46,566 gave the rookie a warm round of applause. But he walked his next hitter, Barton, on four pitches and Pujols followed with an RBI double. Kershaw then came back to strike out Ludwick and caught Troy Glaus looking at a third strike to end his 32-pitch inning.

Maza, starting at second base with Jeff Kent getting the day off, got the run back in the bottom half when he drove a 1-1 pitch over the left-field fence. Wellemeyer had not allowed a home run in his previous five starts, spanning 30 innings.

Glaus was back in the Cardinals' lineup after a brief bout with stomach pains, which forced manager Tony La Russa to send up a pinch-hitter for him in the ninth inning of Saturday night's 4-0 victory and resulted in a brief visit to the hospital for the four-time All-Star third baseman. Glaus was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Notes: Kershaw was 0-3 with a 2.28 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 43 1-3 innings with Jacksonville. ... Ryan was in the starting lineup for the first time at Dodger Stadium as a major leaguer. He played 2B at Chavez Ravine eight years ago, when Notre Dame High School lost the California state championship game to San Luis Obispo High on Graduation Day. Everyone on the team wore their caps and gowns over their baseball uniforms for the commencement before taking a chartered bus to the ballpark.

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