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Ball Night at Dodger Stadium turned into the first forfeit in the majors in 16 years.

Los Angeles forfeited a game to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night after fans threw souvenir baseballs onto the field three times. The score was 2-1 with one out in the bottom of the ninth when the game was called.The umpires were unanimous afterward in blaming Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda for the first forfeit since July 12, 1979, when the second game of a doubleheader between Detroit and Chicago was called off after a raucous anti-disco promotion left the field unplayable.

"This whole thing was Tom Lasorda's fault," umpire Bob Davidson said. "He instigated the crowd, waving his arms. He has himself to blame, absolutely. He knows he's to blame. They're going to blame us, that's fine. It (the decision to call the forfeit) was 100 percent correct.

"It's another black eye for baseball."

The game was delayed for about six minutes in the top of the seventh when some fans in the sellout crowd of 53,361 started throwing baseballs onto the field.

They did it again in the ninth after Mondesi and Lasorda were ejected by home plate umpire Jim Quick.

The umpires ordered the Cardinals to leave the field while the balls were being picked up in the ninth. After the grounds crew finished, the Cardinals went back on the field and a few more balls were thrown. The umpires then called the game.

"It was mine, and I'm not second-guessing myself," Quick said afterward when asked who made the decision. "I'd do the same thing again. We (the crew of Quick, Bob Davidson, Bill Hohn and Larry Poncino) were in complete agreement."

"The Cardinals were reluctant to go out on the field," Quick said. "I tried to give them (the fans) every opportunity. (St. Louis' Brian) Jordan was in center field and I saw a ball just miss him. It was thrown real hard. For the safety of us and the players, that was enough."

Said Jordan: "I'm not going to stand out there and get busted in the head with a ball. Balls were flying from the upper deck. The umpires made a good decision. It (the forfeit) is bad for the game, that's terrible."

Lasorda was livid when told the umpires blamed him.

"How did I instigate it? I was talking to Jim Quick. All I was asking was why he threw my players out," Lasorda said. "Who made them (the fans) throw the balls the first time? What did I do?

"If I don't come out and ask why my players are being thrown out, what kind of a manager am I? That's all I did. I tell you, that is a real crime, for those guys to try to put that blame on me."

The forfeit overshadowed an outstanding pitching performance by Mark Petkovsek, who outdueled Hideo Nomo.

Petkovsek (5-3), who pitched the only shutout of his big-league career against the Dodgers on June 20, allowed only five hits in 7 2-3 innings while walking three and striking out four.

Despite getting only one out in the ninth, Tom Henke got his 24th save in 25 opportunities and the 299th save of his career.

Los Angeles scored a run in the eighth and had a chance for more, but Karros, who had homered in three straight games, looked at a called third strike to end the inning with two runners left on base. He was ejected by Quick before the ninth inning started.

Jordan homered in the second inning and rookie Mark Sweeney homered in the fourth off Nomo (9-3), who lost for the first time in seven decisions at Dodger Stadium.

The win was only the third in the last 13 games for the Cardinals.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, lost for just the seventh time in their last 22 outings and missed an opportunity to gain ground on the Colorado Rockies, who lost to Florida 3-2.

Nomo went the first eight innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter. He allowed six hits while walking three and striking out seven, raising his NL-leading strikeout total to 168.




For more on this story and other baseball news, look under Sports in online Deseret News.