Fortunately for Miles, he didn't have to.Miles hit a tying triple in the ninth inning off Fernando Salas and then scored the go-ahead run on a bobbled grounder, rallying the Los Angeles Dodgers over St. Louis 2-1 Monday night.Miles had been 0 for 3 against Carpenter and hadn't gotten the ball out of the infield.
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"He was lights out for most of the game," Miles said. "He's definitely not a comfortable at-bat."The game took an odd twist with two outs in the eighth when Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday walked off the field holding his right ear. A moth had gotten stuck in his ear, and a Cardinals trainer tried to assist Holliday as he walked to the dugout.Holliday was taken into a dark room and a light was put to his ear, trying to lure the moth out, Cardinals spokesman Brian Bartow said. When that didn't work, an instrument was used to pry the live moth out of Holliday's ear.Holliday was not available for comment but appeared to be OK, Bartow said."He had a moth fly into his ear, deep into his ear. I don't even know what happened to it," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead into the ninth behind Carpenter, who was 6-0 with a 1.57 ERA against the Dodgers going into the game.Although Carpenter did not take the loss, he felt it nevertheless."It was a tough one, no question," Carpenter said. "Absolutely a tough loss."Carpenter dominated the Dodgers for eight innings, shutting them out on five hits. He left after hitting Juan Rivera with a pitch to start the ninth.Lefty reliever Arthur Rhodes struck out Andre Ethier, and La Russa brought in Salas (5-5). Miles tripled to right-center field to tie it."I fell behind in the count and I went to my best pitch to the lefties, a changeup," Salas said. "The guy put a good swing on it."Miles said that he was looking for a changeup. He was also thinking third base all the way."You've got to take chance with one out," Miles said. "I knew I was going to go for it. They had to make a good relay to get me."With Miles on third, La Russa then went to Jason Motte, who got Rod Barajas to hit a sharp grounder. But shortstop Rafael Furcal bobbled the ball briefly allowing Miles to score the go-ahead run.The blown save was the fifth in 27 tries for Salas."I just played the inning," La Russa said. "I watched what happens. You decide as you go along. He hit the first guy and with Ethier up, I figured it was better to go with the left-hander."Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly was grateful to see Carpenter gone, but would not second-guess the decision to remove him."We didn't do much with him, that's for sure," Mattingly said. "I'm sure Tony has his reasons. He knows his ballclub a lot better than I know his ballclub."Matt Guerrier (4-3) pitched a scoreless eighth to get the win. Javy Guerra pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 12 opportunities.James Loney had three hits for the Dodgers. Matt Kemp was 0 for 4 and had his 11-game hitting streak snapped.Los Angeles rookie starter Nathan Eovaldi allowed just a solo home run to Lance Berkman, his 29th, leading off the second inning. Eovaldi lasted five innings and allowed five hits while walking one and striking out two.
St. Louis failed to score in the opening frame against the Dodgers, who have allowed just 35 first-inning runs. Los Angeles is on pace to allow 45 first-inning runs, which would be the fewest by a National League team since 1920. The 1975 Dodgers' team holds the record with 49 runs allowed. ... The Dodgers' Eugenio Velez went 0 for 3 and is hitless in 25 at-bats on the year.
35,198 (80% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
84 degrees, partly cloudy
Home Plate - Derryl Cousins, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Ron Kulpa
Chris Carpenter started slowly this season but has looked like his old self since the middle of June. Not only has Carpenter pitched better, but his teammates have picked up their support as well, leading to a much better W-L.