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Philadelphia at St. Louis

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Philadelphia (48-46)000010000141
St. Louis (54-41) «00010013x571

Garcia helps Cardinals pound Phillies for eighth win in row

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ST. LOUIS -- With the bases loaded, two outs and the game tied in the top of the seventh, Charlie Manuel let his pitcher, Joe Blanton, hit. It was all downhill from there for the sagging Philadelphia Phillies.

Rookie Jaime Garcia struck out Blanton on three pitches to end the threat and Matt Holliday hit the go-ahead home run on Blanton's first pitch in the bottom of the seventh as the St. Louis Cardinals made it eight straight wins with a 5-1 victory Wednesday night.

Manuel didn't second-guess his decision to let Blanton hit. He blamed the rest of the lineup after the Phillies scored one or fewer runs for the 23rd time.

"What can I say?" Manuel said. "About every day we do the same thing. We don't hit and we don't score enough runs."

Felipe Lopez had two RBI for the NL Central leaders, whose streak is the franchise's best since winning eight straight from Aug. 27-Sept. 5, 2004. Ryan Franklin got Jayson Werth on a groundout with two on to end the eighth and finished for his 18th save in 19 chances.

St. Louis has beaten the two-time defending NL champions three straight games by a 20-6 total and will go for the sweep behind 14-game winner Adam Wainwright on Thursday.

Ryan Howard hit his 22nd homer for the Phillies, who have lost six of seven since the All-Star break and are only two games above .500 (48-46). Blanton (3-6) tired in the eighth, giving up a two-run double with no outs to Lopez after catcher Carlos Ruiz' throwing error on a sacrifice, and Colby Rasmus added a sacrifice fly in a three-run inning.

Blanton said he wasn't surprised Manuel let him hit.

"Obviously, I wanted to stay in the game," Blanton said. "He's a great manager. It's a tough call."

Manuel said if there would have been one out he would have used a pinch-hitter but his top two options were left-handers against Garcia, a lefty. He also noted that Blanton had thrown only 74 pitches.

"It's 1-1, he had a chance to win the game. It didn't work out," Manuel said. "You've got to make it one way or another. Is it tough? Hell, no. Nothing tough about it. What you do is what you do."

Werth is batting .280, but only .159 with runners in scoring position. He's not the only Phillies player struggling.

"I've been giving everyone in that locker room a chance," Manuel said. "If you can hit, please do. That's not taking a shot at one guy, it's covering a lot of territory."

Garcia (9-4) retired the first 12 batters in order before Howard became the first left-handed hitter to homer off him leading off the fifth. He struggled only in his final inning when the Phillies loaded the bases on two walks and Jimmy Rollins' single before he struck out Blanton.

"It's a 1-1 game," Garcia said. "I was just trying, whoever it was, to make a pitch."

Garcia lowered his ERA to 2.21, rebounding from two iffy starts in which he gave up 17 hits in 5 2/3 innings, although he gave up only four earned runs. He needed 70 pitches to get through six innings before throwing 25 in the seventh, taking advantage the Phillies' aggressive hitters.

"Every time you go out there you try to learn from the mistakes and make sure it doesn't happen again," Garcia said. "I'm not going to say it's easy. No matter what happens the last outing you've got to flush it out."

Holliday lined Blanton's first pitch of the seventh over the left field wall for his 18th homer, a drive estimated at 423 feet. He has homered in consecutive games and is 9 for 19 with six RBI since the break.

The start of the game was delayed for 25 minutes by rain.

Notes

  • St. Louis 1B Albert Pujols stole his team-leading 11th base and second in as many games in the fourth after his RBI single, but was picked off on Rasmus' strikeout for an inning-ending double play.
  • Phillies 2B Cody Ransom made a diving stop up the middle to start a double play on Pujols' grounder to end the sixth.
  • The Cardinals are 34-15 at home.
  • Despite losing three straight the Phillies (12-8) are one of only two teams with a winning record at 5-year-old Busch Stadium. Milwaukee is 22-19.
  • Rollins, moved to sixth in the order to bust his slump, was 1 for 4.
  • Pujols drew his major league-leading 24th intentional walk, a total that tops 18 teams, in the eighth. Holliday is batting .286 (4 for 14) with two homers and seven RBI following intentional walks to Pujols.
  • Howard has 244 homers with the Phillies for fourth on the franchise list, moving ahead of Chuck Klein.
  • Phillies 2B Placido Polanco was 0 for 4, ending a 12-game hitting streak.
 
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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Not too shabby for a rookie: Jaime Garcia goes seven innings and allows just four hits while striking out six.  (AP)
Not too shabby for a rookie: Jaime Garcia goes seven innings and allows just four hits while striking out six. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

F. Lopez
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
St. Louis

J. Garcia
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 6
 
Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Placido Polanco, 3B4000000 .314
Shane Victorino, CF4010000 .253
Ben Francisco, LF4000002 .231
Ryan Howard, 1B3111110 .299
Jayson Werth, RF3000102 .280
Jimmy Rollins, SS4010000 .226
Cody Ransom, 2B3010022 .208
   a- Raul Ibanez, PH1000000 .248
Carlos Ruiz, C2000101 .272
   b- Greg Dobbs, PH1000000 .204
Joe Blanton, P3000033 .156
    J.C. Romero, P0000000 .000
    Jose Contreras, P0000000 .000
Totals3214136  
a-flied out for Ransom in the 9th
b-flied out for Ruiz in the 9th
Batting
HR - Ryan Howard (22, Garcia)
RBI - Ryan Howard (75)
SB - Shane Victorino (18, 2nd base off Garcia/Molina)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Ruiz-Rollins, Ransom-Rollins-Howard
E - Carlos Ruiz (3, Throwing)
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Blanton (L,3-6) 7753131 6.03
J.C. Romero 0.1000100 3.15
Jose Contreras 0.2000010 4.02
IBB - Pujols by J.C. Romero
HBP - Holliday (by Jose Contreras)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 97-61, J.C. Romero 5-1, Jose Contreras 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 10-7, J.C. Romero 1-0
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 28, J.C. Romero 2, Jose Contreras 3
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Felipe Lopez, 3B4112001 .275
Jon Jay, RF3120000 .378
Albert Pujols, 1B3011101 .309
Matt Holliday, LF3111001 .309
Colby Rasmus, CF3001011 .275
Skip Schumaker, 2B3000020 .253
    Ryan Franklin, P1000012 .000
Yadier Molina, C2010100 .238
Jaime Garcia, P1000001 .188
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .500
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Miles, 2B1110000 .356
Brendan Ryan, SS2100002 .189
Totals2657524  
Batting
2B - Felipe Lopez (15, Blanton), Jon Jay (10, Blanton)
HR - Matt Holliday (18, Blanton)
SF - Colby Rasmus (2)
SH - Jon Jay (3), Jaime Garcia (4), Brendan Ryan (8)
RBI - Felipe Lopez 2 (26), Albert Pujols (68), Matt Holliday (57), Colby Rasmus (43)
SB - Albert Pujols (11, 2nd base off Blanton/Ruiz)
PK - Albert Pujols (1, Blanton)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Skip Schumaker (12, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jaime Garcia (W,9-4) 7411261 2.21
Kyle McClellan (H,14) 0.2000000 1.89
Trever Miller0000100 3.63
Ryan Franklin (S,18) 1.1000000 3.29
Pitches-Strikes - Jaime Garcia 95-59, Kyle McClellan 5-4, Trever Miller 6-2, Ryan Franklin 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaime Garcia 8-7, Kyle McClellan 2-1, Ryan Franklin 1-3
Batters Faced - Jaime Garcia 27, Kyle McClellan 3, Trever Miller 1, Ryan Franklin 4
Game Information
Attendance - 41089
Game Time - 2:24
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - Brian Runge