Walk in 9th leads Dodgers past Cardinals 6-5

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis goes flying after colliding with St. Louis Cardinals runner Tyler Greene, out on a fielder's choice - Shane Robinson reached first - in the seventh inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles Friday, May 18, 2012.

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis goes flying after colliding with St. Louis Cardinals runner Tyler Greene, out on a fielder's choice - Shane Robinson reached first - in the seventh inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles Friday, May 18, 2012. Photo by The Associated Press.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A.J. Ellis drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night in the opener of a series between the NL West and Central Division leaders.

Los Angeles' Adam Kennedy had four hits against his former team and James Loney drove in two runs.

Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman, 3 for 31 with 10 strikeouts against Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly, was not in St. Louis' starting lineup despite having led the NL with 22 road home runs last season. He came up with two outs in the ninth as a pinch-hitter for Shane Robinson and drove an 0-1 pitch from closer Kenley Jansen into the pavilion seats in right-center for his first homer in 41 at-bats this season — ending the longest season-opening drought of his 14-year career.

Jansen (3-0), who struck out his first two batters trying to preserve a 5-4 lead for Lilly, ended up with the victory despite getting charged with his second blown save in five attempts.

Pinch-hitter Elian Herrera drew a leadoff walk in the bottom half from Fernando Salas (0-2), Kennedy singled with one out, and Loney was intentionally walked with runners at the corners. That set the stage for Ellis, who walked on four pitches to force home Herrera.

Lilly was charged with four runs — all unearned — and four hits through seven innings with six strikeouts and no walks. The 36-year-old left-hander lowered his ERA to 1.87. One of the hits off him was a two-run homer by Matt Holliday.

Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran, who took over the NL home run lead from injured Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp last Sunday, was back in the starting lineup for the first time in five games and went 2 for 4 after being sidelined with a sore right knee.

Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly was ejected for the second time in six games during the top of the third inning while the Cardinals were rallying from a 3-0 deficit with four runs. But the Dodgers tied it in the bottom half with an RBI single by Kennedy.

Tyler Greene led off the Cardinals' third with a bunt single and advanced when catcher Ellis tried to surprise him with an attempted pickoff and threw the ball past Loney for an error. Robinson reached on a strikeout-wild pitch, and both runners moved up on pitcher Lance Lynn's sacrifice bunt.

Furcal drove in the Cardinals' first run with a sacrifice fly, and Matt Carpenter checked his swing on a 1-2 pitch. Ellis appealed to third base ump Chad Fairchild, who ruled no swing, and Mattingly was tossed by plate umpire and crew chief Tom Hallion while he was barking at Hallion from the dugout. Carpenter singled home Robinson and Holliday put St. Louis ahead 4-3 with his third in four games and ninth overall.

Lynn allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings, raising his ERA from 1.81 to 2.31. The right-hander was coming off a loss last Sunday against Atlanta, which prevented him from becoming the first pitcher in Cardinals history to win each of his first seven starts in a season.

This was the only game on Friday's schedule between teams in the same league, with interleague play beginning for the other 28 clubs. The Dodgers and Cardinals don't begin their interleague schedule until June 8, when Los Angeles travels to Seattle and St. Louis hosts Cleveland.

Notes: Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa will join Mattingly and ex-Dodgers managers Tom Lasorda and Joe Torre on June 14 at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles to raise funds for Torre's Safe at Home Foundation, which helps victims of domestic violence. The panel discussion will include Angels manager and longtime Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia. Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will serve as master of ceremonies for the benefit, which will include a sports memorabilia auction. ... Lynn made the Dodgers swing and miss on only two of his 62 pitches through the first three innings. ... Lilly has only one complete game in 228 starts since Aug. 23, 2004, when he beat Boston 3-0 with a three-hitter and a career-high 13 strikeouts at Toronto. ... Furcal played his first game at Dodger Stadium since he was traded to the Cardinals on July 31 in exchange for minor league OF Alex Castellanos.

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