Once again, porous defense and poor pitching caused problems for the weakened Cardinals.
The Birds fell behind early in their Friday night game against the Dodgers but stormed back to take a 4-3 lead on the power of a Matt Holliday homer. The two-run shot was Holliday's ninth homer of the season.
But the Birds barely had time to enjoy their lead. Former Cardinals second baseman Adam Kennedy singled in a run in the bottom of the third and the game was knotted at four runs each.
St. Louis reliever Marc Rzepczyski, with one out in the seventh got a ground ball to second baseman Tyler Greene. After injuring the knee of Dodgers second sacker Mark Ellis while breaking up a Los Angeles double play attempt earlier in the game, Greene wanted no part of being around the bag with a base runner bearing down. So he flipped the ball to shortstop Rafael Furcal for a tougher play -- and furcal threw the relay into the first base dugout. The inning was allowed to go on and the Dodgers blooped in the go ahead run.
The Cardinals had a chance to even things up in the top of the eighth when David Freese came to the plate with runners on first and second. But, after taking a couple of tough pitches to run the count full, Freese was fooled by a pitch in the dirt and he struck out.
Lance Berkman tied the game with two outs in the top of the ninth with a solo homer -- his first of the year -- to tie the game at five. But Fernando Salas walked the lead-off man in the bottom of the ninth the surrendered a single to put runners on first and third with only one out. He intentionally walked the bases full -- then unintentionally walked in the tying run on four pitches to lose the game 6-5.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Carlos Beltran made his return to the starting line-up after missing four games with a stiff knee. He didn't look so hot trying to move around in the outfield. But he managed to go 2-for-four before exiting the game for a pinch runner.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Berkman's homer.
Lowlight: A walk off walk is about the worst way I can think of to lose a ballgame. Ugh.