Final in 10

Series: Game 3 of 4

St. Louis leads 3-0 (as of 7/15)

Game 1: Thursday, July 13
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in 14
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Game 2: Friday, July 14
LA Dodgers0Final
St. Louis5
Game 3: Saturday, July 15
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in 10
St. Louis2
Game 4: Sunday, July 16
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Dodgers 1

(46-45, 18-27 away)

Cardinals 2

(51-39, 29-17 home)

    1:20 PM ET, July 15, 2006

    Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri 

    12345678910 R H E
    LA 1000000000 1 6 1
    STL 0000010001 2 8 0

    W: B. Looper (6-1)

    L: D. Baez (5-5)

    Rolen's hit in 10th lifts Cards to sixth straight win

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals' rash of extra-inning games has been very good for Braden Looper's bottom line.

    Looper earned his third victory in as many outings in a 2-1, 10-inning victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

    Elias Says

    Scott Rolen's game-winning 10th-inning single against the Dodgers came on an 0-2 pitch from Los Angeles reliever Danys Baez. Attention, National League pitchers: Rolen is dangerous when backed into a corner. He is now batting .389 this season (7-for-18) on 0-2 pitches.

    It was only Rolen's second walk-off RBI since joining the Cardinals during the 2002 season. The other came off Kyle Farnsworth in a 1-0 victory over the Cubs on May 2, 2004.

    • For more Elias Says, Click here.

    Scott Rolen's RBI single with two outs in the 10th was the difference but Looper got his team in position to stretch its winning streak to a season-best six games with two scoreless innings.

    Looper, who had a slow start to the season after offseason shoulder surgery, has allowed only two hits in five innings during his mini-winning streak. He struck out two and walked one on Saturday.

    "You feel like nobody can hit you," he said. "Obviously, they can, but that's what you feel like when you go out there.

    "I just try to throw up a zero, and hopefully we score a run."

    Albert Pujols hit his NL-leading 31st home run and Jeff Suppan worked seven strong innings for the Cardinals. St. Louis had three straight extra-inning victories, totaling 36 innings, before Chris Carpenter's two-hitter in a 5-0 victory on Friday night, so manager Tony La Russa didn't think his team would get cocky.

    "There's a very fine line," La Russa said. "That's why when you have something going we always encourage our club, you don't sit around patting yourself on the back because you'll lose that edge."

    J.D. Drew had three hits and an RBI for the Dodgers, who have been held to three runs in the first three games of the four-game series. The Dodgers have lost four of five.

    "The runs are few and far between and I can't wait to get through this little storm," manager Grady Little said. "Some of the guys just haven't been clicking since the All-Star break but it will happen."

    David Eckstein reached on an infield single against Danys Baez (5-5) with one out in the 10th. The Dodgers had him doubled up when pinch-hitter John Rodriguez lined out, but shortstop Rafael Furcal made a bad throw to first, allowing the runner to advance. Furcal thought his throw deflected off Eckstein.

    Pujols was intentionally walked before Rolen blooped a single into shallow left-center field to drive in the winning run. In any case, the Dodgers weren't going to let Pujols beat them.

    "He commands a lot of respect," Little said.

    Adam Wainwright escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth. After giving up an infield hit to Drew and walking Jeff Kent and Andre Ethier on full counts, Wainwright struck out Cesar Izturis and got Toby Hall to pop out.

    Suppan began the second half with perhaps his strongest start of a spotty season, allowing one run and five hits in seven innings with a season-high six strikeouts and two walks. Suppan has won only one of his last nine starts and had a 7.59 ERA in the previous eight outings.

    "I felt good about my outing," Suppan said. "Anytime you help the team in a win, it's important."

    Mark Hendrickson worked 6 2/3 innings in his third and best start with the Dodgers since coming over in a trade with Tampa Bay, also giving up one run and five hits. He exited with two outs and two on in the seventh, and Jonathan Broxton retired Eckstein on a popup.

    Furcal doubled to start the game, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, and scored from third when left fielder So Taguchi misjudged Drew's two-out liner, the ball sailing just over his glove for an RBI double.

    Pujols' second homer in three games tied it in the sixth when he muscled a pitch that was low and away over the wall in left-center. He also doubled in the first and is 4-for-7 against Hendrickson with two homers and four RBI.

    Hendrickson said he "should have applauded" after Pujols' homer. "It was a good pitch, and there's not much you can say," he said.

    Nomar Garciaparra, who carried a 22-game hitting streak into Friday, is 0-for-7 the last two games for Los Angeles.

    Game notes

    The Cardinals have homered in a season-best 12 straight games, two more than their best last season. They've hit 21 in that span. ... Hendrickson is 0-2 with a 3.57 ERA in three starts for the Dodgers. ... Cardinals RF Juan Encarnacion made a nice running catch on Jose Cruz Jr.'s drive to the warning track in right-center to end the top of the ninth. ... Paid attendance of 46,068 was the largest crowd in a season full of sellouts at new Busch Stadium, although there were more than 6,000 no-shows for a game played in 91-degree heat.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press