Phillies crush Cardinals, 13-3

Posted: July 14, 2007

The Phillies didn't lose their 10,000th game Friday night, but they sure made 43,838 people happy anyway.

The 13th sellout crowd of the season filled Citizens Bank Park for the second-half lid-lifter, and one has to believe that a good chunk of those in attendance came out so they could say they were there when history was made.

No dice. The Phillies broke out the old whuppin' stick and laid a 13-3 beating on the St. Louis Cardinals.

With the win, the Phils poked their noses back above .500 - that's enough to give you hope in the ragged National League - and earned a temporary stay from becoming the first American professional sports franchise to reach 10,000 losses.

Keep the champagne on ice. There's another game today.

"We don't worry about it," Jimmy Rollins said of the impending black mark. "It's going to happen. We could be perfect - but I doubt it."

The Phils weren't perfect Friday night, but they were pretty sharp in picking up win number 8,809 - at least until Pat Burrell dropped a routine fly ball and J.D. Durbin walked three and hit a batter in the ninth.

The offense produced a season-high 23 hits against six St. Louis pitchers, including starter Kip Wells, who gave up five runs in the first and didn't get an out in the second before joining Albert Pujols on the bench. (Ooops, sorry, that was the All-Star Game.)

"He was not good," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of Wells. "[He] set a bad tempo for us."

The 23 hits were the most by a Phillies team since May 18, 1990, when it had 24 in a game at Dodger Stadium.

Lost in the cacophony of ball meeting bat was the fact that 22-year-old righthander Kyle Kendrick, who wasn't even on the Phillies' 40-man roster until the second week of June, delivered another quality performance for the team that so desperately needs pitching.

Kendrick tossed seven innings and allowed just one run. He scattered six hits and walked one. He is 4-0 since coming up from double A on June 13. The Phillies have been victorious in five of his six starts.

"I saw him in rookie ball [in 2003]," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I was a little surprised when we called him up. I didn't realize he'd matured so much. He's pretty good. A lot better than I anticipated. He keeps getting better. He's definitely helped us."

The Cardinals are the reigning World Series champions, but they sure didn't play like it. In addition to pitching batting practice, they made four errors.

Every Phillies starter had a hit except catcher Carlos Ruiz. Greg Dobbs and Chase Utley had four apiece. Utley and Rollins both homered.

Ruiz was able to laugh about his 0-fer.

"I told everybody I missed the party today," he said. "Tomorrow is another day. For me, the important thing is we got the win."

Ruiz added that, "Kendrick was great. He had good command of his fastball and he had a good slider. He's relaxed and confident."

Wells (3-12) had enjoyed great success in his career against the Phillies before this start. In six previous starts against the Phils, he was 5-0 with a 1.33 ERA.

That run of success ended quickly. The Phillies' first seven batters reached base in the bottom of the first on six hits and an error - by Wells. The Phils sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning. Utley and Ryan Howard drove in single runs with hits and Aaron Rowand knocked in two with a single. Kendrick even contributed to the first-inning uprising, driving in his first big-league run with a single. He later drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.

"That was a lot of fun," Rowand said after the game. "That's the way you want to come out and start off. We had a good first inning and kept the pressure on."

Manuel concurred. Getting 23 hits and opening the second half with a rout was a lot of fun. It sure beat racking up loss number 10,000.

"I'd like to see us get 23 or 25 [hits] tomorrow," Manuel said. "I like hitting, especially when it's on our side."


Contact staff writer Jim Salisbury at 215-854-4983

or jsalisbury@phillynews.com.

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