By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report/The Philadelphia Sunday Sun
PHILADELPHIA—It was looking like another night where the Phillies offense was going to waste a decent effort by a starting pitcher. After scoring two runs in the first inning to take a 2-1 lead, it was nothing for the next five innings.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals had taken a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh. But in the next two innings, the Phillies offense finally came alive and scored the game’s last five runs to en route to a 7-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in a nationally-televised contest at Citizen’s Bank Park.
“I’ve seen us do some good things and I think if we can put them together, I think we can be a consistent team,” Manuel said. “We’re not quite there yet, but hopefully tonight can get us started.”
After the Phillies tied the game in the seventh on an RBI double by Laynce Nix, the Phillies took the lead for good in the eighth on an RBI single by Ben Revere that scored Michael Young, who got an infield single to start the rally on the Phils final at-bat.
For Revere, it was redemption from hitting into an inning-ending double play in the sixth inning. He said he was able bounce back thanks to taking a few deep breaths based on a form of meditation.
“I just came back into the clubhouse with a little ‘woo sah’ meditation and then I went up there and said I have to redeem myself and I saw a pitch that I drove into center field,” Revere said.
Catcher Erik Kratz, who batted eighth in the Phils lineup, put the game away on a three-run homer to the left field seats. Reliever Mike Adams was the winning pitcher for the Phillies.
“If the bottom of the lineup isn’t doing their job, we’re not going to have wins,” Kratz said. “Tonight it was the bottom of the order. Tomorrow it’s the middle of the order, another night it might be one guy. It’s all 25 guys that come and bring it every day.”
Though he didn’t get the win, starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick certainly did his part to help his team’s cause. He allowed just two runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk in six innings. He also pitched his way out of some difficult jams.
“When you don’t have your good stuff, you’ve got to battle and keep your team in the game,” said Kendrick, who threw 116 pitches. “I was able to stay in there and not give up many runs and keep the damage to a minimum. It was a nice win for us.”
The Cardinals started the scoring in their half of the first inning with a solo homerun from second baseman Matt Carpenter.
But the Phillies would bounce back in their half of the first inning. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins smacked a Jake Westbrook pitch to the gap in left center and wound up with a triple. After a walk to Mayberry, Chase Utley singled to right and drove home Rollins.
The Phillies took the lead on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Ryan Howard that scored Mayberry who went third on Utley’s single. Utley hustled and took second on Howard’s sacrifice. But then Utley made bone-head play on a routine fly ball to left center hit by Young.
Apparently thinking the ball was hit harder than it was, Utley was half way around the third when Cards left fielder Allen Craig caught the ball and threw it to Carpenter covering second base for an inning-ending double play.
After giving up the home run to Carpenter in the first, Kendrick settled down and kept the Cardinals at bay. He also showed the ability to pitch his way out of some tough jams. In the fourth inning, he gave up singles to Yadier Molina and Matt Adams, but then retired the next three batters in order to end the threat.
In the sixth inning, Kendrick gave up a single to Allen Craig and after striking out Molina gave up a double to Matt Adams. He got David Freese to ground out from third to first, but Craig scored from third to tie the game at 2-2.
Somehow Kendrick survived the inning without giving up another run. He gave up a single to right to Pete Kozma. But the ball wasn’t shallow enough to score Adams from second. Mayberry’s throw was cut off by Howard, who caught Kozma in a run down between first and second. Kozma beat the throw to second, but Rollins alertly threw the ball to third to force Adams back to the bag at third.
Kendrick escaped the inning when Westbrook was thrown out on an attempted suicide squeeze play.
The Cardinals took their last lead of the game in their half of the seventh on an RBI single by Craig that scored Jay, who reached on a two-base throwing error by Chase Utley.