|St. Louis (82-69)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||2||10||2|
|Philadelphia (98-52) «||1||0||0||1||0||1||0||6||x||9||10||0|
PHILADELPHIA -- Hunter Pence clutched a bottle of champagne and jumped around like an excited child opening Christmas presents.
The Philadelphia Phillies won another division crown, and Pence is along for his first postseason ride.
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"These guys have welcomed me in and treated me like family," said Pence, the All-Star outfielder who joined Philadelphia in a trade from Houston on July 29. "It just goes to show what type of guys we have here."
In a season where nothing less than a World Series championship would be considered a success, there wasn't much of a party on the field. The Phillies had a been-there, done-that attitude toward winning the division last year, and this time was no different.
Players ran onto the diamond a bit faster than usual, but they simply exchanged handshakes, hugs and high-fives as if this was an ordinary game in April. They did at least put on shirts and hats proclaiming themselves division champs.
The fans didn't even scream all that loud, even when the Phillie Phanatic ran on the field with a big flag that said 2011.
Once they reached the clubhouse, however, the Phillies popped open the bubbly and celebrated their achievement.
"I'm excited for a guy like Hunter who has never been here before," Chase Utley said. "It's a long season and you never know what's going to happen."
With the Four Aces leading the way, the Phillies are seeking their third NL pennant in four years and second World Series title.
They've taken care of the first step. Now they'll use the 12 remaining games to get ready for the postseason. It's still uncertain who the Phillies will face in the best-of-five first round when the NL playoffs begin Oct. 1.
"This is the first step," slugger Ryan Howard told the crowd that remained after the game. "We're gonna try to go all the way and we'll need you guys."
The major league-leading Phillies (98-52) are four wins away from setting a single-season club record.
None of those accomplishments will matter if they don't finish the season with a championship parade on Broad Street.
"It's an extraordinary effort," team president David Montgomery said. "Clearly, it's a team that has its priorities in order."
St. Louis fell 4½ games behind Atlanta in the wild-card race. They had won eight of nine to narrow the gap from 8½ back on Sept. 6.
"We played with a lot of urgency," Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa said.
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook (12-9) allowed one earned run and five hits in 3 1/3 innings. He's given up two earned runs or less in 11 of his 16 road starts this season, but fell to 8-4 away from home.
Oswalt, Philadelphia's best pitcher down the stretch last year after coming over from Houston in a trade on July 29, left spring training as the No. 3 starter behind Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. But he struggled after starting 3-0, and a back injury forced him to the disabled twice.
The three-time All-Star was vintage Oswalt against the Cardinals. His fastball reached 94 mph a few times, and he had a nasty curveball.
Oswalt struck out Skip Schumaker on a 76 mph curve to leave two runners on in the seventh. All of his Ks came on swings.
"I'm not really going to be satisfied until we win that last game," Oswalt said. "I've done enough personal stuff that it really doesn't matter. All I want now is to win that last game. That's all any of us really want."
But Lidge came in and retired Allen Craig on a grounder to second on his first pitch to end the inning.
The Phillies then blew it open with six unearned runs in the eighth. Carlos Ruiz reached second when his grounder skipped past third baseman Daniel Descalso for an error. Ruiz went to third on Jimmy Rollins' one-out single and scored on Shane Victorino's single up the middle.
After Utley was hit by a pitch, Howard struck out.
Pence gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead on an RBI double in the first. An error by Furcal helped the Phillies add a run in the fourth. Placido Polanco led off with a walk. Oswalt sacrificed with one out and Furcal dropped the throw to second. Rollins followed with a single to load the bases. Victorino walked to force in Polanco to make it 2-0.
That ended Westbrook's night.
Arthur Rhodes came in and retired Utley on a shallow fly and Howard on a grounder.
Victorino hit a solo homer off Kyle McClellan in the sixth. He's been slumping lately, batting just .163 (14 for 86) in his previous 21 games.
|Roy Oswalt allows just five hits and strikes out seven Cardinals in seven innings of work. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||5||0||1||0||0||0||1||.225|
|Jon Jay, CF||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.308|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.301|
|Lance Berkman, LF||4||0||3||1||0||1||0||.296|
|David Freese, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||2||2||.293|
|Daniel Descalso, PR-3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.267|
|Allen Craig, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.304|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.298|
|Skip Schumaker, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||2||3||.288|
|Fernando Salas, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Marc Rzepczynski, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Octavio Dotel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Adron Chambers, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Jake Westbrook, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.111|
|Arthur Rhodes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Corey Patterson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.239|
|Mitchell Boggs, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Kyle McClellan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.143|
|Ryan Theriot, 2B||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.273|
|a-grounded out for Dotel in the 9th|
|b-popped out for Rhodes in the 5th|
|2B - Yadier Molina (29, Oswalt)|
|RBI - Lance Berkman (87), David Freese (48)|
|2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman (30), David Freese (17)|
|SB - Lance Berkman (1, 2nd base off Oswalt/Ruiz)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Schumaker-Furcal-Pujols|
|E - Daniel Descalso (8, Misplayed grounder), Rafael Furcal (10, Missed catch of throw)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Jake Westbrook (L,12-9)||3.1||5||2||1||5||1||0||4.58|
|HBP - Utley (by Marc Rzepczynski)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 71-37, Arthur Rhodes 8-4, Mitchell Boggs 20-11, Kyle McClellan 21-15, Fernando Salas 15-9, Marc Rzepczynski 16-8, Octavio Dotel 9-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 6-3, Arthur Rhodes 1-1, Kyle McClellan 1-1, Fernando Salas 2-1, Octavio Dotel 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 20, Arthur Rhodes 2, Mitchell Boggs 5, Kyle McClellan 4, Fernando Salas 4, Marc Rzepczynski 5, Octavio Dotel 3|
|Jimmy Rollins, SS||5||2||4||0||0||0||0||.268|
|Shane Victorino, CF||3||2||2||3||1||0||0||.289|
|Chase Utley, 2B||4||1||0||0||0||2||5||.258|
|Ryan Howard, 1B||3||0||0||0||2||1||6||.249|
|Hunter Pence, RF||3||1||2||2||2||0||0||.311|
|Raul Ibanez, LF||5||1||1||4||0||0||6||.245|
|Placido Polanco, 3B||3||1||1||0||2||1||0||.280|
|Carlos Ruiz, C||4||1||0||0||0||0||4||.278|
|Roy Oswalt, P||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.083|
|Michael Stutes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Lidge, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Ross Gload, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.253|
|b- John Mayberry Jr., PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.269|
|Ryan Madson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-announced for Lidge in the 8th|
|b-popped out for Gload in the 8th|
|2B - Hunter Pence (38, Westbrook)|
|HR - Shane Victorino (17, McClellan), Raul Ibanez (19, Dotel)|
|SH - Shane Victorino (6)|
|RBI - Shane Victorino 3 (60), Hunter Pence 2 (90), Raul Ibanez 4 (77)|
|2-OUT RBI - Hunter Pence 2 (27), Raul Ibanez 4 (40)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Roy Oswalt (W,8-9)||7||5||0||0||0||7||0||3.66|
|Michael Stutes (H,12)||0.2||4||2||2||0||0||0||3.77|
|Brad Lidge (H,7)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.17|
|Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 107-68, Michael Stutes 22-14, Brad Lidge 1-1, Ryan Madson 13-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 5-9, Michael Stutes 1-1, Brad Lidge 1-0, Ryan Madson 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 26, Michael Stutes 6, Brad Lidge 1, Ryan Madson 4|
|Attendance - 45470|
|Game Time - 3:04|
|Temperature - 60|
|Umpires - Home - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Rob Drake|