Phils competitive but lose again

YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Phillies' reliever Mike Adams reacts after giving up eighth-inning home run to Cardinals' Carlos Beltran.
YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Phillies' reliever Mike Adams reacts after giving up eighth-inning home run to Cardinals' Carlos Beltran.
Posted: April 19, 2013

THEY SHOWED signs of life, which was more than you could say after most of the previous six games. Against a Cy Young-caliber pitcher who has given them plenty of trouble in the past, the Phillies' offense managed nine hits and twice rallied to tie the game. But the only victories were the moral ones as a ninth-inning rally came up short and the Phillies fell to the Cardinals, 4-3, to drop their fourth straight game.

"That's the best we've hit in a while," manager Charlie Manuel said.

That much is indisputable. The Phillies were coming off a six-game stretch in which they scored a grand total of 10 runs, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the Reds that saw them fail to draw a single walk.

Manuel made a couple of changes before the game, moving Jimmy Rollins back to his longtime spot at the top of the order for the first time this season, and starting Freddy Galvis in leftfield in place of Domonic Brown, who left Wednesday's loss to the Reds with a sore back but was cleared to play against the Cardinals. Galvis contributed a key double to a late-game offensive flurry against righthander Adam Wainwright, driving in a run in the sixth inning to cut the Phillies' deficit to 2-1 and then scoring the game-tying run on a single by Chase Utley. After the Cardinals retook the lead in the top of the seventh against Cole Hamels, John Mayberry Jr. scored on a single by Erik Kratz to even the score at 3-3.

But Carlos Beltran put the Cardinals up 4-3 with a solo home run off Mike Adams that eked over the fence in leftfield in the eighth inning and the Phillies stranded a pair of runners in both the eighth and ninth innings to fall to 6-10.

In the ninth, they had the tying run on third with nobody out after back-to-back singles by Ben Revere and Kratz but were unable to push it home. Kevin Frandsen grounded out on a drawn-in infield and Rollins struck out against a soft-tossing Edward Mujica before Galvis grounded out to end the game.

"There were two good pitchers going at it, so you knew that runs were going to be tough to come by," said third baseman Michael Young. "But we battled. I thought our approach was a little better, but at the same time you want to make sure that every positive you have ends up in a win."

Hamels struck out eight, walked two and allowed five hits in seven innings. He was charged with three runs but was plagued by an unfortunate sequence of events in the fourth inning, when Mayberry fell down in pursuit of what should have been a fly out that instead turned into a double, and then Yadier Molina doubled on a line drive that might have been a foul ball just to the right of the rightfield line.

"It looked to me like it was foul, but it was a close play," Manuel said. "It was real close. But it looked to me like a foul ball. But it was very, very close."

"I don't even need to comment on it," Hamels said. "It was a poorly executed pitch. Even if I would have executed it right, it might have been a different story. He could have hit it a mile fair. It's just kind of a situation where you have to make pitches and try to get the guys out as quick as possible and try to prevent runs."

For the fourth straight game, the Phillies did not draw a walk, something that Manuel and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. addressed before the game.

"I think it's ridiculous that we've had no walks in 3 days," Amaro said. "I cannot believe it. More importantly, it's about not just walks, but producing, and we haven't done that."

They'll try again on Friday against lefty Jaime Garcia.

Phillers

The official attendance was 34,056 . . . Delmon Young (ankle) is scheduled to play seven innings in the outfield Friday and Saturday, after which the Phillies will "decide when he's going to go out on a real rehab assignment," Ruben Amaro said.


On Twitter: @HighCheese

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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