LONDON (AP) -- Whether in a match, a set, a game - or even within a single point - Sabine Lisicki simply cannot be counted out.
Especially at Wimbledon, where she is one victory from becoming a Grand Slam champion.
Fashioning the same sort of comeback she used to eliminate defending titlist Serena Williams at the All England Club, the 23rd-seeded Lisicki reached her first major final by edging No. 4 Agnieska Radwanska of Poland 6-4, 2-6, 9-7 in a compelling, back-and-forth match Thursday.
"I just fought with all my heart," said Lisicki, who twice was two points away from losing to 2012 runner-up Radwanska. "I believed that I could still win, no matter what the score was."
On Saturday, Lisicki will face 15th-seeded Marion Bartoli, who took a nap on a locker-room couch before heading out to Centre Court and earning a berth in her second Wimbledon final with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over No. 20 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.
It's only the second time in the 45-year Open era that two women who have never won a Grand Slam trophy will play for the championship at the grass-court tournament.
Germany's Lisicki and France's Bartoli also form the second-lowest pair of seeded women to meet for the Wimbledon title. In 2007, Bartoli was No. 18 when she lost to No. 23 Venus Williams.
"In the beginning of the tournament, no one, I think, (expected) those names in the semis or in the finals," Radwanska said.
That's for sure.
In 11 of the past 13 years, one Williams sister or the other - and sometimes both - reached the final at the All England Club. This year, five-time champion Venus sat out because of a back injury, while five-time champion Serena's 34-match winning streak ended with a loss to Lisicki in Monday's fourth round.
In that match, Lisicki won the first set, dropped nine games in a row to fall behind 3-0 in the third, and eventually took the last four games.
In the semifinals, Lisicki won the first set, dropped nine of 11 games to fall behind 3-0 in the third, and eventually turned it around.
"I thought, `I've done it against Serena, so you can do it today as well. Just hang in there,'" Lisicki said. "It gave me so much confidence."
Some of that derives from a more daunting recovery. In 2010, she badly injured her left ankle and missed five months.
Not only did she fall outside the top 150 in the rankings, but Lisicki says her rehabilitation felt like a course in how to use that leg.
"I can still remember when the doctor told me that I have to be on crutches the next six weeks. I was like, `OK, when can I get back?' That was my first question," Lisicki recalled Thursday. "That period made me such a much stronger person and ... I know anything is possible after learning how to walk again."
She cited inspiration drawn from two injured athletes in other sports, NFL quarterback Drew Brees and Alpine ski racer Hermann Maier.
Brees tore his throwing shoulder in the last game of the 2005 regular season, and needed a complicated operation. Let go by the San Diego Chargers, he wound up signing with the New Orleans Saints and led that franchise to the Super Bowl title in 2010. Maier, who won two Olympic gold medals and four overall World Cup titles, nearly lost his right leg - and his life - in a 2001 motorcycle accident. Sidelined for two years, he returned to win the World Cup in 2004.
Lisicki also was motivated by a text message she said she received before Thursday's match from the last German woman to play in a Grand Slam final, back in 1999, Steffi Graf.
"She told me to go for it," Lisicki said.
Lisicki's formula against Radwanska was the same one she employed while beating major champions Francesca Schiavone in the first round, Sam Stosur in the third and Williams: powerful serves, stinging returns and an uncanny ability to get to balls that seem out of reach. On Thursday, Lisicki smacked serves at up to 122 mph, including nine aces, and hit eight return winners.
Her game clearly is built for grass. She is 19-4 at Wimbledon, 16-15 at the other three major tournaments. She's 8-2 in three-setters at Wimbledon, 5-9 at the other Slams.
Bartoli also has been most successful at what many players consider tennis' most prestigious site. Her career winning percentage at Wimbledon is .730; it's .586 at the other Slams. She is 2-0 in Wimbledon semifinals, 0-1 elsewhere.
"I had to play, I don't know, 500 percent, I think, to beat Marion today. She was just too good," said Flipkens, who fell face-down in the grass in the sixth game, landing on her bandaged right knee, and later received treatment.
"I tried my slices. She didn't have any problem with that. I tried the drop shot. She got it," added Flipkens, who never had been past the fourth round at a major. "I tried a lob. I tried everything, actually."
Hitting two-handed shots off both wings - like her idol, Monica Seles - Bartoli took the first three games of each set and never relented.
"Definitely," said 2006 Wimbledon winner Amelie Mauresmo, the French Fed Cup captain serving as an adviser to Bartoli, "the best match of the tournament for her."
As always, Bartoli took practice cuts between most points, pumped her fist after nearly every point she won, and sprinted to the sideline at changeovers.
"It's not like I want to annoy my opponent," Bartoli said. "It's really me trying to be ready for the point that is coming."
She figures she's much better equipped to handle a Grand Slam final now than when she managed to win only five games in the loss to Venus Williams six years ago.
"I'm just doing everything better, honestly," said Bartoli, who was only 22 when she made her major final debut.
Lisicki, 23, and Radwanska, 24, have known each other since they were junior players, and their styles could hardly be more different. All in all, Lisicki is far more aggressive than Radwanska, who relies on varying speeds and angles while mainly aiming to keep the ball in play. According to the official statistics, Lisicki finished with far more winners, 60-21, and far more unforced errors, 46-10.
Lisicki won her first five service games and was up a break in the second set when everything changed. Radwanska broke five times in a row, until Lisicki finally held again to get within 3-1 in the third. Lisicki ran off five out of six games, ignoring the distraction of a courtside scoreboard that began flickering, then was shut off. At 5-4 in the third, Lisicki served for the match, twice getting within two points of victory, but Radwanska broke again.
At 6-5, 30-all, and again at deuce, Radwanska needed two points to win. She couldn't do it.
"I had a lot of chances. Couple of easy mistakes," Radwanska said. "It cost me."
At 7-all, Lisicki broke by nearly sitting on the grass for a backhand that forced Radwanska to miss a volley. Given another chance to serve it out, Lisicki capped the most meaningful victory of her career with a forehand winner.
"It's unbelievable the way she came back again in the third set," said Lisicki's coach, Wim Fissette, who used to work with four-time major champion Kim Clijsters.
Radwanska, who spent nearly three total hours more on court than Lisicki in previous rounds, played with both thighs heavily taped.
"If we play in two days from now," she said, "I think it would be definitely different."
Asked why she offered Lisicki only a cursory, no-look handshake, then quickly left the court, Radwanska answered: "Should I just be there and dance?"
Understandably, Lisicki's mood at her news conference was cheerier. She couldn't stop smiling or chuckling.
"When I arrived here at the tournament, I just said that anything's possible. That's what I believed. I still do," Lisicki said. "I came to win every match that I walk on the court (for), and that's what I've done so far."
From a famous speech that has echoed for decades to a crazy slugfest at Coors Field, baseball has had its share of memorable moments on July Fourth. Here's a look back at some of the all-time moments of the day.
1. GEHRIG'S FAREWELL: Delivering one of the most hallowed speeches in sports history, Lou Gehrig spoke between games of a New York Yankees doubleheader with the Washington Senators on July 4, 1939. It came two weeks after he retired, having been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Gehrig played only eight games that season, driving in one run and hitting .143.
The "Luckiest Man" speech has been played countless times.
2. RAGS' NO-NO: Forty-four years after Gehrig retired, Dave Righetti provided a July Fourth highlight for the Yankees, pitching a no-hitter against rival Boston. It was the first no-hitter by New York since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series and the first by a Yankees left-hander since 1917. Righetti got the final out by striking out Wade Boggs, much to the delight of owner George Steinbrenner, who was celebrating his 53rd birthday that day in 1983.
"I did it on the right day, I guess. I guess they replay it every year in New York," said Righetti, now the pitching coach for the San Francisco Giants. "I haven't watched it in years. My family watches it. It's funny. If I go outside and walk anywhere and am recognized, it comes up 95 percent of the time."
3. FIREWORKS AT 4 A.M.: One of the greatest games played on July Fourth didn't end until almost 4 a.m. the next morning because the New York Mets needed 19 innings to beat the Atlanta Braves 16-13 on a rainy night in 1985. Dwight Gooden started and Ron Darling finally closed it out for the Mets.
"So many guys had been used and there was only a few of us left on the field coming in, and my memory is of the most jubilant clubhouse other than postseason that I've ever been in," Darling said. "Budweiser beer cans and Chick-Fil-A wrappers everywhere. That's all I can remember."
It was a wild game that included Braves pitcher Rick Camp's two-out homer in the 18th to tie the score at 11. New York then pushed across five runs in the 19th before Darling, normally a starter, came out of the bullpen and whiffed Camp for the final out.
"Even though it wasn't a save opportunity, it was saving the day," Darling said. "It's definitely one of the thrills of my life walking off the field that night."
Keith Hernandez hit for the cycle in 10 at-bats and Gary Carter caught all 19 innings for New York. Darling, currently a Mets announcer, remembers the 4 a.m. fireworks display for the 10,000 fans still left in the stands.
"When we heard it go off, we just couldn't believe it," he said. "I think it was like a War of the Worlds moment for Atlantans. They had to feel as though, what the hell is going on here in the middle of the evening? There's tons of people who didn't know there was a baseball game that night."
4. SLUGFEST AT COORS FIELD: Fans crammed into the ballpark to see the postgame fireworks - but the show started early. Colorado staged the biggest comeback in franchise history, rallying from nine runs down to beat the Florida Marlins 18-17 in 2008. The Rockies hit six homers and Chris Iannetta singled home the winning run off Kevin Gregg in the ninth inning. The teams combined for 43 hits, 21 for extra bases, and eight home runs. Soon after he was removed from the game, Colorado slugger Troy Tulowitzki slammed his bat into the ground and the splintered end sliced his right palm. The All-Star shortstop required 16 stitches.
5. TIRED ARMS: Hall of Famers Rube Waddell and Cy Young locked up in a pitchers' duel for 19 innings in 1905 before the Philadelphia Athletics scored twice in the 20th for a 4-2 win. Waddell gave up two runs in the first, then pitched 19 scoreless innings. Young also went the distance. Waddell's day wasn't done, either. He came back to get the final two outs in the second game of the doubleheader.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels were confident about extending their winning streak to eight games, which would have matched their longest of the season. Jerome Williams didn't give them much of a chance.
Williams was charged with seven runs, four hits and four walks in just 1 2-3 innings of a 12-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. The right-hander had not given up more than three bases on balls in any of his previous 17 starts.
"I think Jerome had a good idea of what he wanted to do going into the game, but I think he tried to get a little bit too fine," manager Mike Scioscia said. "They've got some guys over there that are swinging the bat well. In the second inning, I don't know if it was a situation where he really felt comfortable putting the ball in some areas and he tried to get a little too fine, especially early in the count and he got behind some guys."
Jon Jay had three RBIs, including a two-run homer off center fielder Mike Trout's glove during St. Louis' seven-run second inning. Matt Carpenter, batting leadoff in front of Jay, also homered and drove in three runs to help keep the Cardinals two games behind Pittsburgh in the NL Central.
One night after the Angels scored all of their runs in the second inning of a series-opening 5-1 victory, the Cardinals sent 12 men to the plate in the second after Williams had set them down 1-2-3 in the first.
"In the first inning he looked sharp, had good velocity and really good action on his sinker," Scioscia said. "At the start of the second inning he looked a little bit tentative, and the walks obviously compounded that inning. He just couldn't minimize the damage and the inning got away from him."
The seven-run rally included a two-run double by David Descalso, and a two-run homer by Jay that Trout had in his glove for an instant before it popped out as his arm made contact with the top of the fence.
Yadier Molina, who raised his NL-leading average to .352 after going 3 for 4 with a walk, greeted Garrett Richards with an RBI single that delivered the seventh run.
After Hank Conger's two-run homer in the bottom half, David Freese scored an unearned run in the Cardinals' third when Richards mishandled a throw from first baseman Mark Trumbo on Carpenter's two-out grounder behind the bag.
St. Louis increased the margin to 10-2 in the fifth on a run-scoring, ground-rule double by Carpenter and an RBI single by Jay, who had driven in only one run in his previous 35 at-bats coming in. It was only his second game this season with three or more RBIs, the other on May 4 when he had four at Milwaukee.
Carpenter ended the scoring in the eighth with his eighth homer, a solo shot off Billy Buckner.
"After winning that many in a row, you almost always think you're due for a butt-kicking," Angels right fielder Josh Hamilton said. "You'd rather lose one like this than a really close one, but you've got to put it behind you."
The Cardinals scored one more run than the Angels had allowed in their previous six games combined.
"Matt Carpenter sets the tone for us, and he had a terrific game," manager Mike Matheny said. "He put together good at-bats and he doesn't give any away. It was also nice to see John Jay have some real nice at-bats. We need to get him going, and today was a real good indicator that he's on the right path. He's been making some adjustments that are allowing him to have good at-bats, and it worked out for him today."
Shelby Miller (9-6) struck out six over six innings and allowed five hits. The right-hander was coming off back-to-back losses against two other AL West clubs, including a 6-1 defeat last Friday at Oakland in which he lasted only 1 2-3 innings and gave up five runs.
"I wouldn't say I was any fresher tonight," Miller said. "I mean, I threw 51 pitches in the second inning at Oakland and that's going to wear your arm down moreso than going eight innings and throwing 100 pitches. But I felt strong, so I basically wanted to try to go deep in the ballgame."
NOTES: Matheny caught Williams when they were teammates in San Francisco during the 2005 season. ... The Angels have committed 61 errors, the second-most in the AL. The Cardinals have made 34, the fewest in the NL. ... Howie Kendrick's 102 hits are the most by an Angels second baseman before the All-Star break. ... St. Louis LF Matt Holliday didn't play for the second straight night because of a pinched nerve in his neck. ... Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright was named the NL pitcher of the month for June after going 4-2 with a 1.77 ERA in six starts, including complete-game 7-1 victories over San Francisco and Oakland. ... Molina was back in the fifth spot in the batting order, after hitting in the two hole the previous six games and going 7 for 25 with a homer and three RBIs. ... Cardinals LF Allen Craig drew three walks in the first four innings, matching the total he had in 116 plate appearances over his previous 28 games. He has 18 this season in 338 plate appearances.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Jordan Leopold on a two-year contract.
Leopold, 32, posted two assists in 15 regular season games with the Blues after the club acquired him from Buffalo on Mar. 31 last season. In addition, Leopold dressed in all six games for the Blues during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Overall, the 6’1, 206-pound defenseman has appeared in 10 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons including stints with Calgary, Colorado, Florida, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and St. Louis. For his career, Leopold has registered 204 points (65 goals, 139 assists) and 268 penalty minutes in 625 regular season games as well as 16 assists in 65 postseason games.
The Golden Valley, Minnesota native was originally drafted by Anaheim in the 2nd round (44th overall) of the 1999 Entry Draft.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Jered Weaver earned his second win of an injury-plagued season with help from a five-run second inning, and the Los Angeles Angels extended their winning streak to seven games Tuesday night with a 5-1 victory over St. Louis in the Cardinals' first game at Angel Stadium.
St. Louis was the only National League club that had never played at the "Big A," having hosted the three previous interleague series between the teams in 2002, 2007 and 2010.
Three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols, who spent his first 12 major league seasons with the Cardinals before signing a $240 million, 10-year contract with the Angels in December 2011 as a free agent, played his first game against his former club and was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and a walk as the designated hitter while Mark Trumbo started at first base.
The first time Pujols came up, he tapped catcher Yadier Molina's shin guard with his bat and Molina tapped Pujols on the back of the helmet with his glove - a subtle but meaningful display of affection and respect between two All-Stars who were teammates for nine seasons and won two World Series rings together. Pujols then struck out, and Molina threw out J.B. Shuck at second for an inning-ending double play.
Weaver (2-4) allowed a run, six hits and no walks over seven innings. He struck out five in his ninth start of the year, working with runners on base in every inning but the seventh.
The All-Star right-hander, who became a 20-game winner for the first time last year before a broken bone in his non-pitching arm sidelined him for more than six weeks this season, ended a streak of five winless starts that began after his 3-1 victory against the Dodgers on May 29 at Angel Stadium - his first game back from the injury.
The Cardinals loaded the bases in the eighth against Kevin Jepsen. Scott Downs came in and struck out rookie Matt Adams before finishing a spectacular 3-6-1 double play, after Trumbo made a slick play in the hole on a hard-hit grounder by David Freese.
Lance Lynn (10-3) gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings, striking out eight. The 26-year-old right-hander, coming off a 4-3 loss last Wednesday at Houston, has dropped back-to-back outings for the first time in 1 1/2 big league seasons spanning 48 starts.
The Angels sent 10 batters to the plate in the second. Lynn gave up singles to six of his first seven hitters, including run-scoring hits by Trumbo, Alberto Callaspo, Erick Aybar and Shuck. Aybar scored when second baseman Matt Carpenter misplayed Mike Trout's grounder up the middle for an error with a chance to force Shuck. Lynn ended the inning by striking out Pujols and Josh Hamilton.
Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday was a late scratch because of tightness in his neck, hampering a lineup that had averaged a league-best 7.04 runs of support for Lynn in his other 16 starts this season. Molina was 2 for 4, raising his NL-leading average to .347.
The Cardinals got on the board in the fourth. Allen Craig reached on an infield single, was held up at third on a double by Adams and scored on a groundout by Freese.
NOTES: A ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Stan Musial's grandson, Brian Schwarze, with Pujols as his catcher. Musial, who died on Jan. 19 at age 92, was honored with a video tribute following the first inning. "Stan was my buddy," Pujols said. "I wish I would have had more opportunities to talk to him. When he walked into the clubhouse, it was like a light that was so bright. It was amazing. Everybody would stop what they were doing." ... Shortly after Pujols joined the Angels, he took offense to promotional billboards put up throughout Southern California that heralded him as "El Hombre" - or "The Man." Pujols requested they be taken down, saying that only Musial - whose moniker was "Stan The Man" - should ever be referred to in that manner. ... The Angels wore circular patches with Musial's name and No. 6 on the front of their jerseys, which they will do throughout this series. The idea for the unique tribute came during spring training. "It's out of the respect that everyone in baseball has for Stan Musial and his legacy, and obviously the connection with Albert," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We wanted to honor a great person and a great ballplayer in a very classy way, and we're proud to wear them." ... Former Angels Jim Edmonds, Scott Spiezio, David Eckstein and Jeff Weaver all played significant roles for the Cardinals during their 2006 championship season. Eckstein was the World Series MVP, and Weaver won the Series clincher against Detroit's Justin Verlander. ... The Cardinals won five of the nine meetings between the teams in St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that the club has extended qualifying offers to eight players including Alex Pietrangelo, Chris Stewart, Jake Allen, Kris Russell, Evgeny Grachev, Philip McRae, Cade Fairchild and Tyler Shattock. The qualifying offers will allow the Blues to retain the negotiating rights for each player.
NEWARK – The St. Louis Blues selected four total players in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark. With their first pick overall, the Blues selected defenseman Thomas Vannelli in the second round, 47th overall. The Blues then traded the 83rd, 94th and 113th overall picks to Edmonton in exchange for an additional second round pick (57th overall), which they used to select forward William Carrier. In addition, the Blues sent the 203rd overall pick and a 4th round pick in 2014 to Nashville in exchange for a fourth round pick (112th overall), which they used to draft St. Louis native, foward Zach Pochiro. With their final pick, the Blues drafted defenseman Santeri Saari in the sixth round, 173rd overall.
Vannelli, 18, split last season between Minnetonka of the Minnesota High School League (MSHSL) and Team USA (U-18) of the United States Hockey League (USHL), leading Minnetonka defensemen with 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 25 games while recording two points (one goal, one assist) in 14 games with Team USA. In addition, Vannelli appeared in five games during the 2012 USA Hockey Select 17 Player Development Camp registering six points (one goal, five assists) in six games. In 2011-12, the Minneapolis, Minnesota native also led Minnetonka defensemen with 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) in 28 games. The 6’2”, 165-pound defenseman was ranked 44thamong North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Carrier, 18, has spent the past three seasons with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s (QMJHL) Cape Breton Screaming Eagles including 2012-13, when he led the club as an Assistant Captain with 42 points including 16 goals and 26 assists to go along with 41 penalty minutes in 34 games. In addition, Carrier served as the lone representative for his team at the 2012 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Canada-Russia Super Series, appearing in two games. In 2011-12, the 6’2, 198-pound forward finished second on the team with 70 points including 27 goals and 43 assists to go along with 65 penalty minutes in 66 games. Carrier also helped Team Canada earn the Bronze Medal at the 2012 Under-18 World Championship, dressing in all seven games. In 2010-11, his QMJHL rookie season, Carrier posted 12 points including eight goals and four assists as well as 54 penalty minutes in 61 games. The La Salle, Quebec native was ranked 18thamong North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Pochiro, 19, appeared in 65 games for the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars in 2012-13, ranking third on the club with 39 points including 15 goals and 24 assists while leading the Cougars with 105 penalty minutes. In 2011-12, the 6’1, 161-pound forward dressed in 52 games for the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) Wichita Falls Wildcats, leading the club with 34 points including 18 goals and 16 assists to go along with 154 penalty minutes. A native of St. Louis, Pochiro was ranked 173rd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Saari, 18, dressed in 46 games for Jokerit Jr. of the Finland-Jr. League in 2012-13, posting 23 points including five goals and 18 assists to go along with 34 penalty minutes. In addition, the 6’2, 191-pound defenseman dressed in seven games with K-Vantaa of the Finland-2 League as well as two games with Jokerit Helsinki of Finland’s SM-liiga. In 2011-12, Saari appeared in 13 games with Jokerit Jr. logging four points (two goals, two assists) and 10 penalty minutes while also registering 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) and 48 penalty minutes in 33 games with Jokerit U-18 of the Finland-Jr. U-18 League. The Helsinki, Finland native was ranked 116th among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
LONDON (AP) -- Add Serena Williams to the list of big names eliminated early at this wild and unpredictable Wimbledon.
The defending champion failed to close out a see-saw third set Monday, dropping the last four games against Sabine Lisicki of Germany to lose 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 in the fourth round and end her career-best 34-match winning streak.
"I'm still shaking," Lisicki said in a post-match interview, covering her face with her hands to wipe away tears. "I'm just so happy."
It was the latest in a string of upsets that has jolted the tournament, with defending champion Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal knocked out in the first three days - along with Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka on the women's side.
Williams looked to be cruising after dropping the first set, winning nine straight games to take a 3-0 lead in the third. The players then traded breaks to give Williams a 4-2 lead, but the American couldn't win another game - despite having four break points at 4-3.
Those would have given her a chance to serve for the match. Instead, Lisicki held, broke again, and converted her second match point with a forehand winner.
Lisicki reached the semifinals at the All England Club in 2011 but this will rank as arguably her biggest victory at the grass-court Grand Slam. It was also the fourth straight time Lisicki has eliminated the reigning French Open champion during her Wimbledon run, having missed the tournament in 2010.
"Serena played a fantastic match," Lisicki said. "She's such a tough opponent. Just an amazing feeling to win this match."
Britain's Laura Robson also lost. She couldn't recover from her missed chances in the first set and fell 7-6 (5), 7-5 to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, failing to become the first British woman in the quarters of any Grand Slam since 1984. Kanepi will face Lisicki in the quarterfinals.
Former champion Petra Kvitova and No. 4 David Ferrer also advanced. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Andy Murray, about the only pre-tournament favorites still standing, played their fourth-round matches later.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran combined for six hits, each with a home run and three RBIs, and Allen Craig added a solo home run. The rest of the lineup did not fare as well, leading to another series loss for St. Louis.
Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson homered and Tommy Milone overcame a rocky start to win for the first time in nearly four weeks as the Oakland Athletics held on to beat the Cardinals 7-5 on Sunday.
"In the beginning he was leaving a lot of balls up and we were hitting them," Beltran said of Milone. "After that he started hitting the corners and he was using his change-up better. And they continued to score. Good pitchers find a way to regroup and pitch a good game. He did that."
Jake Westbrook (4-3) suffered his first poor outing since coming off the disabled list and gave up his second home run of the season as the Cardinals lost for the sixth time in eight games, their worst stretch of the season.
"I just didn't have it. It was a bad game," Westbrook said. "We have to get back to making pitches that get us out of jams, to limit the damage. We have to get back to where we were winning series."
The Cardinals are 1-3-1 in their past five series after going 11-0-2 in their previous 13.
"We're playing good," Beltran said. "We're in a good division. It's not going to be easy. Baseball is pitching and we have a good staff."
St. Louis continues to lead the NL in hitting and rank third in pitching. Manager Mike Matheny is hardly worried at this point, despite the recent lack of success.
"It comes down to our starting pitchers have been so good all season long and they deserve that once in a while the offense picking them up," he said. "We set a very high bar early and I hope these still believe in that. Jake is as good as anybody when he's on. If he gets his sinker where he wants, there's not a lineup around who will do a lot against him."
The slugfest in the series finale was in stark contrast to the first two games when starting pitchers Bartolo Colon of the A's and Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals put together dominant performances.
Oakland had seven extra-base hits - five off Westbrook. Westbrook (4-3) lasted just four innings and gave up six runs and 10 hits overall.
St. Louis, which began the day one game behind Pittsburgh in the NL Central, took two early leads but couldn't make them hold up.
NOTES: Cardinals 1B Matt Adams was a late scratch due to food poisoning. His replacement, Ty Wiggington, went 0 for 3. Adams struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. ... Cardinals RHP Shelby Miller threw an extended bullpen before the game. Miller threw 61 pitches in his previous start on Friday. ... RHP Lance Lynn (10-3) takes the mound for the Cardinals in their first-ever visit to Anaheim to play the Angels.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Brazil won a heated matchup of past and present soccer powers, boosting its confidence as it prepares to host next year's World Cup.
Fred scored two goals, Neymar added another and Brazil defeated world champion Spain 3-0 in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday night as protesters clashed with riot police outside Maracana Stadium.
Brazil, a five-time world champion, beat the reigning world and European champion and ended Spain's 29-game, three-year winning streak in competitive matches.
"We beat the world champions today, but we know that the tournament that we will be playing next year will be a lot more difficult," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "Now we have more confidence. That's what we needed."
Fred put Brazil ahead in the second minute, Neymar doubled the lead in the 44th with his fourth goal of the tournament and Fred added his fifth in the 47th.
Brazil, which won its third straight Confederations Cup, has not lost a competitive home match since 1975.
Spain, which had not lost a competitive game since its 2010 World Cup opener against Switzerland, had a miserable night. Sergio Ramos sent a penalty kick wide in the 55th and defender Gerard Pique was ejected by Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers with a straight red card for fouling Neymar in the 68th.
"They were superior on every way," Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque said. "They scored early. This is not an excuse but they had pressure on us all the time."
Eliminated in the quarterfinals of the last two World Cups, the Selecao entered the tournament having not played a competitive match since the 2011 Copa America, Brazil had slipped to 22nd in the FIFA rankings, between Ghana and Mali.
Spain, ranked first for the past 20 months, is the most accomplished national team of the 21st century, winning its first World Cup in 2010 between titles in the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.
But in the stadium that will host the World Cup final on July 14 next year, Brazil dominated La Furia Roja.
"The champion is back," chanted the crowd of more than 73,000 people at the renovated Maracana.
It also didn't take long before the fans - in a sea of yellow jerseys - started teasing the Spaniards, chanting "Wanna play, wanna play!? Brazil will teach you."
Spain had been unbeaten in 26 matches overall, including friendlies, since a 1-0 loss to England in London in 2011 and had outscored opponents 69-11 in competitive matches since the loss to Switzerland in South Africa.
But Spain had not played Brazil since a 1999 exhibition, and they hadn't met in a competitive match since the Selecao's 1-0 win in the first round of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Fred opened the scoring after a cross into the area by Hulk in the second minute. The ball bounced off Neymar near the far post and Fred, who had fallen while trying to reach for the cross, shot with his right foot while still on the ground.
Brazil added to the lead after Neymar exchanged passes with Oscar and then sent a powerful left-footed shot over goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Fred got the final goal from just inside the area, sending a low shot to the far corner. Hulk started the move with a pass to Neymar, but the striker let it go as Fred came running behind him.
Spain was awarded the penalty kick after Marcelo fouled Jesus Navas inside the area. Ramos, who skied a penalty kick for Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League semifinals, sent this one wide.
Spain's best chance before the penalty came with Pedro Rodriguez in the 41st, when he entered the area clear from defenders on a breakaway. His low shot beat goalkeeper Julio Cesar, but David Luiz came rushing in and slid in front of the goal line just in time to deflect the ball over the crossbar.
There were protests outside the stadium during the match, with police using rubber bullets and tear gas to keep demonstrators from getting too close. A wave of anti-government protests has swept across Brazil in recent weeks, and many affected the Confederations Cup host cities as demonstrators complained of the costs of hosting the World Cup.
On the field, it was a heated match from the start, with players from both teams pushing and shoving each other a few times. Even the substitutes got into a shouting match.