Arizona rides Johnson's slam past St. Louis
Friday, July 8, 2011
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Leadoff man Kelly Johnson broke a seventh-inning tie with his second career grand slam and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bullpen barely hung on for a 7-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
Chris Young added a two-run triple and David Hernandez earned his fifth save in as many attempts as the stand-in closer for the Diamondbacks, who have won five of seven and were two games behind NL West-leading San Francisco.
Ian Kennedy (9-3) allowed three runs in six innings, matching his career-best victory total from last season.
Lance Berkman hit his NL-leading 24th homer and Matt Holliday added his fourth in four games to spark the Cardinals’ three-run eighth against three relievers.
Hernandez worked around a leadoff walk to Albert Pujols and a one-out fielding error by shortstop Stephen Drew and is 7-for-8 in save chances overall.
Johnson has 16 homers, most before the All-Star break in franchise history by a second baseman.
Four straight batters reached safely against Kyle Lohse (8-6) with one out in the seventh and Johnson deposited a 2-2 pitch just beyond the wall in right field and into the Cardinals’ bullpen for his fourth career grand slam and first since May 21 against the Twins.
Berkman has 351 career homers, breaking a tie with Chili Davis for fourth-best on the career list for switch-hitters and trailing only Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray and Chipper Jones.
He also singled and walked and is 8-for-20 with five homers and 11 RBI in four games this season against the Diamondbacks.
Berkman matched his best pre-break homer total since 2006 with one out in the second.
The Cardinals had Kennedy on the ropes in the third with a sacrifice fly by Pujols and an RBI double by Holliday and had the bases loaded with one out before Colby Rasmus grounded into a force play at the plate and Gerald Laird grounded out.
Lohse was charged with seven runs in 62⁄3 innings, one of only two outings past six innings in his last eight starts, and threw a season-high 120 pitches. He has lost four of his last five decisions.
Lohse retired the first 10 in order before running into trouble. Holliday just missed a running catch on Young’s two-run triple to the gap in left-center in the fourth, and Miguel
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