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Dra-Matt-ic finish! Cards top LA in 16

July 23, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- On a night when the Dodgers squandered repeated chances with runners in scoring position, the Cardinals made a little go a long way to outlast Los Angeles, 4-3, in 16 innings Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.Jedd Gyorko denied Kenley Jansen his

ST. LOUIS -- On a night when the Dodgers squandered repeated chances with runners in scoring position, the Cardinals made a little go a long way to outlast Los Angeles, 4-3, in 16 innings Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
Jedd Gyorko denied Kenley Jansen his 29th save with a two-out, game-tying homer in the ninth, and Matt Adams sealed the team's second walk-off victory in as many nights hours later with a one-out homer in the 16th. The victory extended the Cardinals' winning streak to five and boosted the club a season-best eight games above .500.
"I'm not sure how he had that much left in the tank to be honest," Gyorko said of Adams, who now has two career 16th-inning, game-winning homers. "I know I wouldn't have been able to hit one that far. That was a big win for us. We're finding ways to win. That's what good teams do."

The 16-inning game tied the longest ever between these two franchises, matching contests from Aug. 21, 1963, and May 2, 1957. The two clubs combined to use 16 pitchers, the last of which, Bud Norris, was summoned two days after throwing 90 pitches in a start against Washington. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had exhausted all of his other available relievers.
"We were stretched as thin as we could go," Roberts said. "I can't say enough about what Bud did. Two days off and taking the ball to try to give us a boost was huge."
Norris worked around a leadoff double in the 15th and retired Matt Holliday to open the 16th. Two pitches later, Adams crushed his second career walk-off homer and 11th home run this season to end a game five hours and 10 minutes after it began.
"I wasn't trying to go up there and hit a home run," said Adams, whose 444-foot blast was his longest this season. "I was trying to go up there and put a up a good at-bat, get on base and pass it to the next hitter."

The walk-off celebration was set up by lefty Tyler Lyons, who was terrific over 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Lyons threw 53 pitches, limited the Dodgers to one hit, and left the Cardinals set up well for the weekend by preserving two unused pitchers in the 'pen. Seth Maness pitched a clean top of the 16th to earn the victory.
Gyorko's homer, his fifth this week, followed Justin Turner's go-ahead blast off Cardinals reliever Seunghwan Oh earlier in the inning. Leading up to the ninth, the Dodgers had mustered two runs despite tallying 12 hits. Ten of those came off Cardinals starter Michael Wacha. The Dodgers' inability to find a timely hit with runners in scoring position -- they finished 1-for-13 in such spots -- stalled those repeated chances.
"For the majority of the game, they were doubling, tripling us [in hits] -- shoot, we were outhit 11-1 at one point -- and we were still in the game," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "To us, that's just scratching and clawing and figuring out how to stay in it."
The Cardinals, on the other hand, maximized their minimal offensive output against starter Brandon McCarthy. An RBI single by Aledmys Díaz pushed the Cardinals in front, 2-1, in the third. It was the only hit the Cardinals tallied off McCarthy, who finished 6 1/3 innings before being removed because of cramping in his legs.

Deja vu:
After feasting against the Padres earlier this week, Gyorko rolled over some of that personal momentum into Friday. His game-tying blast was his fifth homer in as many games, just two off his total over the team's first 91 games of the season. Gyorko has driven in eight runs since Monday. Gyorko entered the night 2-for-8 against Jansen.
"I haven't always hit him well, but I tried to get something early in the count and put a good swing on it," Gyorko said. "[I'm] just seeing the ball well and putting some good swings. A couple good games and you just start rolling, I think."

Missed opportunities: Friday was the 13th time the Dodgers lost when they had more hits than their opponent. They have now lost 10 games in which they've had 10 hits. Jansen blew his fourth save of the season.
"It's part of life as long as you do this job," Jansen said. "It's not your first one, it's not your last one. It's sucks we lost, but just got to move on to the next one. Hopefully tomorrow we get another one-run lead and I go out there and do the job."

What flu?: Seager had missed the previous three games with a bout of the flu, but went 4-for-7 in his first game back with four singles and an RBI. He had a hit in seven straight at-bats dating back to Sunday until he flied out to center field in the ninth inning. It was the second-longest such streak by a Dodgers rookie since 1974.
"For him to have three days off and come back, maybe not even at full strength, and have four hits, it's pretty tough to do," Roberts said. "I can't say enough about him."

Escape act: Though Wacha allowed the Dodgers to tie the game with Kendrick's sixth-inning homer, Wacha navigated through the rest of the 29-pitch frame without allowing the Dodgers to reclaim the lead. With two runners in scoring position and one out, Wacha battled McCarthy in a nine-pitch at-bat that concluded with a groundout. He then induced a fly ball to strand two of the 11 runners the Dodgers left on base in the first eight innings.
"He was fouling off some pitches, and I had to just keep bringing it in there and luckily got the ground ball back to me," Wacha said. "I guess it was just a grind with all the trouble that was out there most of the night."

"I'm ready to go home and go to bed." -- Adams, following the Cardinals' longest game this season

Adams joined rare company with his second career 16th-inning homer. He is one of four players -- along with Jimmie Foxx, Mark McGwire and Alfonso Soriano -- in Major League history with two career homers in the 16th inning or later. Adams' previous 16th-inning blast came in Cincinnati on Sept. 4, 2013.
The Dodgers used their challenge in the seventh in an unsuccessful attempt to overturn Randal Grichuk's infield hit. It took an estimated 20 seconds for the replay crew to confirm that Grichuk reached first before Dodgers first baseman Adrián González got his foot on the bag.

The Cardinals burned their challenge in the 15th after asking for a second look of Austin Barnes' slide into second base. The safe call was stood after a two-minute, six-second review. Barnes was left stranded at second when Joc Pederson followed with a popup.

McCarthy left the game with one out in the seventh inning due to leg cramps after trying to stretch out his leg on the mound during a visit from the team trainer. According to Roberts, he was just being cautious as McCarthy was only going to face one more batter anyway. More >
Grant Dayton made his Major League debut as a reliever in the 11th inning and pitched two scoreless innings. He was called up on Thursday, and had a 2.44 ERA in 35 appearances between Double-A and Triple-A.

Dodgers:Kenta Maeda (8-7, 3.25 ERA) will take the hill on Saturday in his first career start against the Cardinals. He's 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA over 11 innings in two road starts against National League Central opponents this season. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. PT.
Cardinals: Right-hander Mike Leake (7-7, 4.00 ERA) draws the start for St. Louis on Saturday (6:15 CT). Leake has won consecutive starts and struck out 21 batters in those 13 innings. He defeated the Dodgers in Los Angeles on May 15, allowing one run over six innings.
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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Nick Krueger is a reporter for based in St. Louis and covered the Dodgers on Friday.