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Cardinals Beat Dodgers in 15th : Baseball: Jefferies' single off Karros' glove produces the decisive run in St. Louis' 2-1 victory.


About the only noise heard in the waning innings from what remained of the crowd of 31,713 Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium was when the announcer asked the fans to stand for the traditional 14th inning stretch.

Finally, they had something to cheer about.

The Dodgers, hoping their offensive slump was behind them after a 14-hit outburst in their home-opener loss Tuesday, managed only four hits in a 2-1 defeat by the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. A single by Gregg Jefferies off first baseman Eric Karros' glove scored Brian Jordan in the 15th.

The Dodgers were held to one hit by Cardinal starter Donovan Osborne until the eighth inning. Mike Piazza doubled with one out and was replaced by Tom Goodwin, who scored on Jose Offerman's single.

Dodger starter Tom Candiotti was just as effective as Osborne in his eight innings, with his knuckleball seeming to flatten only briefly in the second. Mark Whiten led off with a double to left, took third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Bernard Gilkey.

Candiotti retired the next seven batters before giving up consecutive singles in the fifth inning, but came back to strike out Geronimo Pena and get Ozzie Smith to ground out.

Only twice did the Dodgers get a player in scoring position in the first seven innings, and one of those times was on an error.

With one out, Eric Davis popped up a routine fly to short center. Smith called for it, but second baseman Pena also put his glove up to catch it and bobbled the ball for an error. With Davis safe on second base, Osborne worked Darryl Strawberry to a full count and walked him. Then Karros hit a sharp liner to Pena, who doubled Davis off second.

The Dodgers' eighth-inning rally was also cut short on a double play, with pinch-hitter Lenny Harris the culprit this time.

The Dodgers had another scoring chance in the ninth, when Brett Butler walked and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jody Reed. Butler got caught in a rundown when Davis grounded back to Omar Olivares, who had relieved Osborne after Offerman's run-scoring hit in the eighth. With two out and Davis on second base, Strawberry was intentionally walked and Karros grounded to Smith to force Strawberry at second.

The Cardinals had scoring chances in the ninth and the 11th against Jim Gott.

In the ninth, Ray Lankford led off with a single, but Gott picked him off. Whiten followed with a single and Gilkey drew a walk. Gott got out of the jam by getting Tom Pagnozzi to ground out to Tim Wallach.

Gott, who has not been scored on in three appearances, came back strong in the 10th inning, retiring the side in order, including striking out leadoff hitter Pena and Smith.

In the 11th, Jefferies and Lankford got singles, but Gott struck out Whiten and got Pagnozzi to ground into a double play.

Strawberry, the center of controversy in the Dodgers' home opener Tuesday, couldn't deliver in a key situation with two out in the 11th, popping up with two runners on.

Davis, Strawberry, Karros and Wallach, who bat third through sixth, were a combined 0 for 19 and left three runners in scoring position.

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