St. Louis at Philadelphia

Scoreboard
St. Louis (52-47)100010000281
Philadelphia (55-39) «10202220x9131

Barrage of two-run homers propels Phils over Cardinals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Chase Utley hit the first two-run shot. Ryan Howard nearly cleared two center-field walls with his mammoth blast. Jimmy Rollins joined the fun when he went deep and Raul Ibanez capped the four-homer outburst with a two-run blast.

The long ball has long been routine in Philadelphia.

Lately, so has a standout effort from Joe Blanton.

Utley, Howard, Rollins and Ibanez all hit two-run home runs to back Blanton and lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 9-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

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"Joe was phenomenal," Ibanez said. "That was an unbelievable pitching performance."

Blanton (7-4) is turning these low-run, deep-inning outings into the norm. He struck out six and allowed two runs over eight strong innings. Blanton has allowed two runs or less and pitched at least seven innings in five of his past six starts for the NL East leaders.

Blanton has been Philadelphia's most dependable starter the past two months and put a slow start way behind him. He has lost only once since May 9 (6-1) and the Phillies are now 20-12 in Blanton's 32 starts since he was acquired from Oakland last season.

"He's surprised me from the time I saw him in Oakland to coming over here," manager Charlie Manuel said.

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He received a huge standing ovation from another sellout crowd when he struck out Matt Holliday to end the eighth inning. Blanton fanned the side in eighth and matched his longest outing of the season.

"I've put a couple of good stretches together before," Blanton said.

Holliday's sacrifice fly in the first and Mark DeRosa's fourth homer of the year in the fifth were the only runs off Blanton.

The burly right-hander is a big reason why the Phillies are starting to pull away toward their third straight NL East title. Acquiring Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay would go a long way toward boosting their odds at a second straight World Series championship.

The Phillies are still actively pursuing the former Cy Young winner and could return from their seven-game road trip with another ace to pair with Cole Hamels in the rotation.

"I think you're always looking for a horse," Manuel said. "You're always looking to get better. You always want to try and improve your team."

Brad Lidge tossed a scoreless ninth. Howard had three RBI to lift the Phillies to their 17th win in 20 games.

No matter who pitches for the Phillies, the big bats are usually out.

The Phillies wasted little time rocking righty starter Todd Wellemeyer (7-9). Wellemeyer continues to struggle and lasted only 5 2/3 innings when the Cardinals could have used a longer outing to give the bullpen a needed break.

"He makes some pitches to show his potential, but way too many mistakes," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "The linescore is the way he pitched. He made mistakes. They're an outstanding hitting club."

Instead, Utley, Howard and Rollins all took him deep to build a 7-2 lead before he was yanked.

Ibanez made it 9-2 in the seventh when he hit his 26th homer of the season off Blake Hawksworth. Ibanez moved into second place in the NL in homers and the Phillies lead the league with 138 homers.

Utley, who hit his 22nd, was the first to go deep when he hit a full-count pitch into the first few rows in right for a 3-1 lead in the third.

Howard's 25th home run ricochet off the ivy-covered brick wall in center in the fifth for a 5-2 lead. Howard also had a sacrifice fly in the first. His 433-foot shot nearly cleared the brick and onto Ashburn Alley, a fan food and entertainment area.

Phillies reliever Scott Eyre got wide-eyed watching the replay in the clubhouse.

"Can't get it over the wall?" he playfully chided Howard.

Rollins completed the home-run spurt off Wellemeyer when he added Philadelphia's third straight two-run shot in the sixth. Rollins hit a grand slam in Saturday's win, and has been sensational since he was briefly benched following a slow start.

The former NL MVP is hitting .371 (33 for 89) since snapping his career-worst 0-for-28 streak.

Notes

  • The Cardinals recalled Hawksworth from Triple-A Memphis before the game and optioned reliever Josh Kinney to Triple-A.
  • Phillies RHP Pedro Martinez made his first rehab start for the Phillies at Class-A Clearwater on Sunday. The three-time Cy Young Award winner signed a one-year contract this month after sitting out the first half of the season.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez each hit two-run homers and have combined for 51 long balls.  (US Presswire)
Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez each hit two-run homers and have combined for 51 long balls. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

M. DeRosa
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Philadelphia

R. Howard
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B4010011 .304
Julio Lugo, SS4120011 .317
Albert Pujols, 1B4010012 .325
Matt Holliday, LF2011111 .297
Ryan Ludwick, RF4000003 .275
Rick Ankiel, CF4010000 .236
Mark DeRosa, 3B4121021 .266
Jason LaRue, C3000001 .234
   a- Joe Thurston, PH1000001 .229
Todd Wellemeyer, P2000001 .108
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
   b- Colby Rasmus, PH1000011 .259
    Blake Hawksworth, P0000000 .000
Totals3328217  
a-fouled out for LaRue in the 9th
b-struck out for Reyes in the 7th
Batting
2B - Julio Lugo (6, Blanton), Matt Holliday (27, Blanton), Rick Ankiel (19, Lidge)
HR - Mark DeRosa (17, Blanton)
SF - Matt Holliday (3)
RBI - Matt Holliday (57), Mark DeRosa (56)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Pujols-Lugo
E - Julio Lugo (8, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
Todd Wellemeyer (L,7-9) 5.21175133 5.79
Dennys Reyes 0.1000010 3.86
Blake Hawksworth 2222021 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Todd Wellemeyer 98-63, Dennys Reyes 3-3, Blake Hawksworth 26-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Todd Wellemeyer 7-7, Blake Hawksworth 1-3
Batters Faced - Todd Wellemeyer 29, Dennys Reyes 1, Blake Hawksworth 8
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS5112002 .237
Shane Victorino, CF4220100 .320
Chase Utley, 2B4232011 .305
Ryan Howard, 1B3233000 .266
Raul Ibanez, LF4112012 .305
    John Mayberry Jr., LF0000000 .189
Matt Stairs, RF3000000 .246
    Jayson Werth, RF1000010 .271
Pedro Feliz, 3B4120000 .298
Paul Bako, C4010022 .211
Joe Blanton, P2000013 .033
   a- Greg Dobbs, PH1000000 .271
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Totals35913916  
a-popped out for Blanton in the 8th
Batting
2B - Paul Bako (2, Wellemeyer)
HR - Jimmy Rollins (10, Wellemeyer), Chase Utley (22, Wellemeyer), Ryan Howard (25, Wellemeyer), Raul Ibanez (26, Hawksworth)
SF - Ryan Howard (4)
SH - Joe Blanton (6)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins 2 (45), Chase Utley 2 (69), Ryan Howard 3 (75), Raul Ibanez 2 (73)
2-OUT RBI - Jimmy Rollins 2 (26)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Feliz-Utley-Howard, Feliz-Utley-Howard
E - Pedro Feliz (9, Misplayed grounder)
Philadelphia Phillies
Joe Blanton (W,7-4) 8722161 4.11
Brad Lidge 1100010 7.00
WP - Joe Blanton (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 108-77, Brad Lidge 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 8-9
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 31, Brad Lidge 4
Game Information
Attendance - 45271
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Jim Wolf