The Phillies (57-71), coming off of a series victory against Robinson Cano and the Mariners, continued their homestand tonight against the NL Wild Card leading St. Louis Cardinals (69-58). The two teams split a four-game series at the end of June, with Philadelphia taking the first two and St. Loius claiming the last two. Tonight, the Phillies sent Kyle Kendrick to the mound. Heading into tonight, Kendrick posted a 9.00 ERA in the first inning. Chances looked slim for the Phils, who had to go up against Cardinals ace, Adam Wainwright, in seek of his major-league leading 16th win. Wainwright held the Phils to one run over eight innings earlier this season in St. Louis.
The Game: Kyle Kendrick was shaky from the start, as his first inning issues continued tonight. Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong led-off with back-to-back singles against Kendrick to set up an early threat for St. Louis. Matt Holliday took Kendrick's 1-0 pitch for a two-RBI double to center field, plating both Carpenter and Wong. Just like that, it's 2-0 Cards. Kendrick then walked Matt Adams, putting runners on first and second with none out. Kendrick got Jhonny Peralta to fly out for out number one, but Matt Holliday moved to third and later scored on a sac fly off the bat of Jon Jay. 3-0 Cardinals. Kyle got Tony Cruz to fly out to end the inning. Kendrick threw 30 pitches in the first, 14 for strikes. His first inning ERA is now 9.69 on the year.
The Phillies got on the board in the first as well. Ben Revere reached on an infield single after having a 10 pitch battle with Wainwright. J-Roll walked and then Revere moved to third on an Utley flyout. Ryan Howard tapped an RBI groundout to first on the first pitch, scoring Revere, cutting the Cardinals lead to two, 3-1. Marlon Byrd struck out swinging on an outside breaking pitch, stranding Rollins at second to end the inning.
The Cardinals added on another run in the third courtesy of a towering home run by first baseman, Matt Adams. Kendrick left the fastball up and over the plate, setting up Adams for his solo blast. 4-1 Cardinals.
Trailing by three runs, the Phillies wasted no time in staging their comeback. Kyle Kendrick and Ben Revere started things off with back-to-back singles. J-Roll drew a walk, loading the bases with none out. Chase Utley hit an RBI groundout to score Kendrick, bringing the Phils to within two. Ryan Howard followed that with an RBI single to right, scoring Revere from third and reducing the Cards lead to one. Marlon Byrd was up next and he tied things up with a sacrifice fly that scored Rollins. After a walk to Domonic Brown, Carlos Ruiz smacked a single up the middle. Ryan Howard was held at third, but Dom Brown found himself caught in a rundown between second and third. Thanks to a throwing error from Matt Adams, Ryan Howard scored to give the Phillies a 5-4 lead.
An effective bullpen combo of Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonthan Papelbon helped keep the Cards at bay after Kyle Kendrick departed, securing a 5-4 win for the Phils.
Notable Offensive Statistics:
- Ryan Howard: 2-4, R, 2 RBI
- Ben Revere: 3-4, 2 R
- Carlos Ruiz: 2-4
Impact: Kyle Kendrick overcame a rough first inning to allow only one run over his next 5.1 innings of work. He gave up four runs on eight hits and struck out four as well. At this point, you almost have to consider this a strong outing for Kendrick, who settled in quite nicely after the first. Meanwhile, on the offensive side of things, Ben Revere continued his hot hitting and sits just four points behind Justin Morneau in the race for the National League Batting Title. Tonight, Revere was what you want to see out of a lead-off guy. Getting hits and scoring runs. Ryan Howard had a good night at the plate, tallying two hits while driving in two runs. Kyle Kendrick also helped out his own cause, going 1-for-2 with a run scored at the plate. Diekman, Giles and Papelbon combined for 2.2 hitless innings out of the bullpen. Despite the win, the Phillies were just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Up Next: The Phillies and Cardinals continue their series tomorrow night at 7:05. David Buchanan (6-7, 4.25) takes the hill for Philadelphia while St. Louis will go with Shelby Miller (8-9, 4.25).
Brandon Apter, Publishing Editor for Philliedelphia