The host Saint Louis Cardinals broke out their bats again tonight, beating down Phillies starter Aaron Harang this time. The Cards used a big 4-run outburst in the 5th inning to fly past Harang and the Phils by a 5-2 score at Busch Stadium.
The hosts jumped out on top early, getting to Harang for a single run in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Matt Adams led off with a double to dead center, went to third on a one-out single by Jason Heyward, and scored on a two-out base hit off the bat of Kolten Wong.
In the top of the 4th, the Phils got even in a manner that has become somewhat commonplace over the years on their visits to Saint Louis, with a Ryan Howard homerun. Howard’s 20th career homer came in his 60th game played in his hometown, and it tied things up at 1-1. The drive off Carlos Martinez dropped just over the right-center fence, giving the 1st baseman his 4th longball of 2015.
The Phillies briefly took the lead in the top of the 5th, again scoring a single run. Freddy Galvis singled to lead it off, and Harang followed with a walk. When Ben Revere tried to sacrifice bunt them along, Galvis was thrown out at 3rd. A wild pitch by Martinez moved Harang and Revere up to 3rd and 2nd respectively.
Odubel Herrera then came through with yet another clutch hit. Harang scored easily, but Revere inexplicably came roaring around 3rd. He would have been out at the plate by a mile, but instead got caught in a rundown and was eventually tug for the 2nd out, potentially costing the Phils another scoring chance.
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The 2-1 lead would not last long for the Phillies, as the Cardinals really got their bats rolling in the bottom of the 5th, scoring 4 times on 4 hits and a walk. Wong started it with a single, and Martinez sacrifice bunted him to 2nd. Peter Bourjos then lined a ball past Jeff Francoeur in right field that went for a triple, scoring Wong to tie it up at 2-2.
Matt Carpenter then reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Bourjos. The play was a grounder to Howard, who threw home. After Bourjos was ruled safe, Phils manager Ryne Sandberg elected to officially challenge the call. He lost, and the run stood, putting Saint Louis up 3-2.
Matt Holiday followed that action with a walk, and then Matt Adams ripped a double to left, scoring Carpenter and sending Holliday over to 3rd. Holliday then scored on a Jhonny Peralta single, and the Cards had busted their lead out to 5-2. Harang got the next two batters, but the damage was done.
Harang was charged altogether with 5 earned runs on 8 hits and a walk, the first time all season that he has been hit around like that. It ended a streak of 8 consecutive Quality Starts for the big righthander, a streak that stretched back to last season when he was with the Braves. Still, having thrown just 76 pitches, he was back out there for the 6th inning.
Both teams changed pitchers after the 6th. Martinez finished his night for the Cards having allowed 2 earned on 6 hits and 3 walks, and left with the 5-2 lead intact. He was followed by Kevin Seigrist, Jordan Walden, and then closer Trevor Rosenthal, all of whom shut the Phillies out the rest of the way.
For the Phillies, Harang left for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 6th, and was followed by Dustin McGowan and Jeanmar Gomez, each of whom shut the Cardinals down. So that was it, a 5-2 win for the Cardinals. The Phillies dropped to 3-9 on the road this season.
The two teams will wrap this 4-game set with a Thursday afternoon contest. David Buchanan will take the mound for the Fightins, with 24-year old Tim Cooney taking the mound for the Cards. It will be the MLB debut for Cooney, a local Philly-area kid who gets the first shot at replacing the injured Adam Wainwright in the Saint Louis rotation.