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|Philadelphia (49-43) «||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||2||x||4||7||0|
PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard faced an 0-2 count in a tie game and was one unenviable pitch from adding to his league-high strikeout total.
Instead, the slugging lefty's swing put himself into a share of the home run lead.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel cracked he was pleased with the "big four-run outburst we had tonight."
Howard drove that 0-2 pitch from Kyle McClellan (1-4) into the right-field seats for his 25th homer, rallying the Phillies after they blew a 2-0 lead. Pedro Feliz added a solo shot to left off Chris Perez that put an emphatic end to Philadelphia's four-game losing streak.
Howard's shot tied All-Star teammate Chase Utley for the NL home run lead. Howard's 80 RBI lead the league, and he set a team record for most RBI before the All-Star break.
He has also whiffed 124 times and is batting only .231. Those overall numbers don't bother Manuel too much.
"As long as he's a run producer and hitting in big moments of the game, to me, that might be the most important thing," Manuel said.
The Phillies needed the insurance in a nerve-racking ninth.
This time, Lidge retired Pujols on a fly to right and then struck out Rick Ankiel with two runners on to earn his 20th save in as many chances.
Clay Condrey (2-1) struck out the side for the Phillies in a scoreless eighth.
Jimmy Rollins and Howard both drove in a run in the fifth, ending Philadelphia's scoreless streak at 16 innings. The Phillies hadn't scored since the ninth inning of Sunday's 12-inning loss against the New York Mets.
They never got much of a chance to score against Cardinals lefty Mark Mulder. The oft-injured pitcher left his comeback start with more pain in his shoulder after throwing only 16 pitches and recording one out in the first.
The Cardinals said Mulder had left shoulder discomfort and will be evaluated on Thursday.
"It's like a tease because you think everything is OK," Mulder said.
Mulder, coming back from two shoulder operations, made his first start since September and hasn't won a game in 25 months. The former 20-game winner struck out Rollins to start the game, then walked Shane Victorino and Utley.
He was quickly visited by a trainer and manager Tony La Russa. After a brief talk on the mound, Mulder left the game.
Mulder said he felt something wrong on his last pitch to Rollins.
"I just couldn't get my arm up," Mulder said. "I couldn't get it to work. I wouldn't throw right."
Brad Thompson came in as the emergency reliever and got Howard to ground into a double play.
J.A. Happ cruised for the Phillies until he ran into trouble in the seventh. He left to a standing ovation with two runners on and one out in his third major league start.
"That was probably the best experience of my life right there," Happ said. "That's something I'll never forget."
The Phillies took a 2-0 lead against Thompson in the fifth. Rollins, benched earlier this season for not hustling, scooted all the way to third on an RBI triple to right.
Howard added a run-scoring single that made it 2-0.
While NL Central rivals Milwaukee (CC Sabathia) and Chicago (Rich Harden) each traded for pitchers this week to bolster their postseason chances, the Cardinals would have loved a solid outing from Mulder to show he was close to regaining his old stuff.
Mulder allowed two runs and four hits in 1 1/3 innings over two relief appearances this year. He made three starts last September and was 0-3 with a 12.27 ERA before undergoing a second operation.
"I feel bad for him more than us," La Russa said.
|Ryan Howard's 25th homer of the year comes off Kyle McClellan in the eighth inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Skip Schumaker, LF||3||1||1||0||2||0||0||.298|
|Ryan Ludwick, RF||4||0||0||0||1||3||3||.286|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||3||0||1||1||1||0||2||.346|
|Troy Glaus, 3B||3||0||1||1||2||0||3||.256|
|Rick Ankiel, CF||4||0||0||0||1||3||4||.262|
|Aaron Miles, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.310|
|Jason Isringhausen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Joe Mather, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||3||.225|
|Kyle McClellan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Perez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason LaRue, C||4||0||2||0||0||1||0||.242|
|Mark Mulder, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Thompson, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.200|
|Russ Springer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brendan Ryan, 2B||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.252|
|Cesar Izturis, SS||3||1||1||0||1||1||1||.239|
|a-struck out for Isringhausen in the 7th|
|2B - Skip Schumaker (17, Happ), Jason LaRue (4, Happ)|
|SF - Albert Pujols (2)|
|SH - Brad Thompson (2)|
|RBI - Albert Pujols (49), Troy Glaus (55)|
|2-OUT RBI - Troy Glaus (25)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|DP - Miles-Izturis-Pujols|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Kyle McClellan (L,1-4)||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||2.74|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mark Mulder 16-5, Brad Thompson 78-48, Russ Springer 3-3, Jason Isringhausen 18-9, Kyle McClellan 14-12, Chris Perez 18-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Thompson 4-4, Jason Isringhausen 2-0, Kyle McClellan 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Mark Mulder 3, Brad Thompson 19, Russ Springer 1, Jason Isringhausen 4, Kyle McClellan 4, Chris Perez 4|
|Jimmy Rollins, SS||4||0||1||1||0||1||0||.268|
|Shane Victorino, CF||2||1||0||0||2||0||0||.265|
|Chase Utley, 2B||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.294|
|Ryan Howard, 1B||3||1||2||2||1||0||1||.231|
|Pat Burrell, LF||3||0||1||0||1||2||2||.282|
|Eric Bruntlett, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.232|
|Jayson Werth, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.271|
|Pedro Feliz, 3B||4||1||1||1||0||1||3||.266|
|Carlos Ruiz, C||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.206|
|J.A. Happ, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.000|
|Chad Durbin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Clay Condrey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Lidge, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|3B - Jimmy Rollins (5, Thompson)|
|HR - Ryan Howard (25, McClellan), Pedro Feliz (11, Perez)|
|RBI - Jimmy Rollins (30), Ryan Howard 2 (80), Pedro Feliz (44)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Howard (32), Pedro Feliz (15)|
|SB - Shane Victorino (22, 2nd base off Mulder/LaRue)|
|CS - Shane Victorino (5, 2nd base by Thompson/LaRue)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Chad Durbin (BS,2)||0.2||1||0||0||2||1||0||1.78|
|Clay Condrey (W,2-1)||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||3.82|
|Brad Lidge (S,20)||1||0||0||0||2||2||0||0.95|
|IBB - Pujols by J.A. Happ, Ankiel by Chad Durbin|
|Pitches-Strikes - J.A. Happ 105-60, Chad Durbin 24-12, Clay Condrey 14-10, Brad Lidge 29-17|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 6-8|
|Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 28, Chad Durbin 5, Clay Condrey 3, Brad Lidge 5|
|Attendance - 44951|
|Game Time - 3:12|
|Temperature - 75|
|Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether|