Published November 20, 2014
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Felipe Lopez lofted a bases-loaded single in the 10th inning well over a drawn-in outfield, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
Ryan Franklin (3-0) struck out three and allowed a bunt hit in two innings, the longest outing of the season for the Cardinals' closer. St. Louis trailed by four runs in the fourth and two after seven, matching its biggest comeback of the season. The Cardinals took two of three from Los Angeles to wind up a 5-2 homestand.
The Angels had only two outfielders for the final at-bat against Trevor Bell, bringing center fielder Torii Hunter into a five-man infield playing Lopez to pull. Lopez's fly went to the warning track.
Mike Napoli homered for the third straight game, a three-run shot off a 3-0 pitch from Chris Carpenter that put the Angels ahead 4-0 in the fourth. Jered Weaver had eight strikeouts in six solid innings, bouncing back from his worst outing of the year, and Kendry Morales also homered for Los Angeles.
Albert Pujols was 0 for 3 with two walks and committed his first two errors of the season at first base for the Cardinals. Pujols has no RBIs the last nine games, but pulled off a double steal with Colby Rasmus on the back end to set up David Freese's tying two-run single off Fernando Rodney with two outs in the eighth.
Freese, a 27-year-old rookie, is batting .386 with runners in scoring position. Rodney, who had converted 21 straight save chances, needed 37 pitches to get two outs, although Jason Bulger struck out pinch-hitter Nick Stavinoha with the bases loaded to keep it tied.
Napoli also singled twice while going 6 for 12 with seven RBIs, including two-run homers Friday and Saturday and has six homers overall, four in the last seven games.
The Cardinals loaded the bases for the second straight inning in the 10th on a pair of walks and a hit batsman off Scot Shields (0-2).
Carpenter has allowed nine homers in 10 starts, two more than he gave up all last year while winning the NL ERA title. He allowed five runs, four earned, in six innings after working eight the previous two starts. The first swing and miss by an Angels hitter came when Howie Kendrick struck out to end the third.
Errors by Pujols on consecutive at-bats in the fifth handed the Angels a run for a 5-3 lead. Pujols couldn't handle Erick Aybar's grounder to his left, then hit Aybar in the back trying to catch the lead runner on Kendrick's grounder.
Yadier Molina had totaled two RBIs in his previous 11 games before hitting a two-run single in the fourth. The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out with two singles and a walk and Molina beat Weaver on a full count to cap an eight-pitch at-bat, and a third run scored when Brendan Ryan's grounder rolled between Aybar's legs at short.
NOTES: The last time the Angels homered in 10 straight games was Sept. 12-25, 2008. ... Pujols drew his 839th walk in the eighth, tying him with Enos Slaughter for third on the franchise list. ... Carpenter is 4-2 against the Angels, but hadn't faced them since 2000 and hasn't beaten them since 1999. ... Stadium personnel retrieved a cell phone from a gutter in the upper deck in the bottom of the eighth, using a ladder placed outside the press box. ... All three games of the weekend series were sold out, with paid attendance of 42,417 giving the Cardinals six sellouts on the season.