Phillies deck Cards

Posted: April 23, 2013

FOR MOST of the night, a palpable feeling of discontent radiated from the otherwise frigid stands. Citizens Bank Park is a great place to play when you are a member of a winning team. But when expectations are not being met, the frustration in the stands can create some cringe-worthy moments.

In the fourth inning on Sunday night, a boisterous section in the leftfield seats zeroed in on 25-year-old rightfielder Domonic Brown after a blooper fell a couple feet in front of him for a base hit. At first there were boos. Later, after he made a routine play, there were jeers. From this vantage point, as well as that of manager Charlie Manuel, the reaction was unwarranted.

But, Manuel said, "That's not going to bother him. He's stronger than that."

The bottom of the eighth inning offered an opportunity for Brown and a number of other struggling Phillies to alter the script. And they did just that, scoring four runs to turn a tie game into a 7-3 victory over the Cardinals.

The pivotal sequence started with one out, when Michael Young legged out an infield single. In the sixth inning, Young had drawn the ire of some fans when he opted for the sure out at first base instead of throwing home in an attempt to prevent a game-tying run from scoring (Manuel said later that Young made the right call).

Brown, who entered the day hitting .218, moved Young to third with a single of his own. That put Ben Revere in position to atone for a sixth-inning doubleplay that he hit into with the bases loaded and one out. Revere came through, lining a single to centerfield to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead. Erik Kratz then punctuated the rally with a three-run home run off of Mitchell Boggs.

The rally prevented a wasting of another solid pitching performance by Kyle Kendrick, who struck out six while limiting the Cardinals to two runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings.

St. Louis scored its runs on a Matt Carpenter home run in the first inning and the aforementioned RBI groundout to third base by David Freese in the sixth inning. Since allowing five runs in his 2013 debut, Kendrick has limited opponents to just four runs in his last three starts, striking out 16 and walking five in 19 innings.

Among the game's pivotal moments:

* Laynce Nix tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning with a pinch-hit double to the alley in left-center off of righthander Fernando Salas, which scored Kratz from first base.

* The go-ahead run that the Cardinals scored in the top of the seventh originally reached base because of an errant throw from Chase Utley on a ground ball by Jon Jay. Chad Durbin replaced Antonio Bastardo with runners on the corners and one out, but allowed a line-drive single with two strikes on Allen Craig as St. Louis took a 3-2 lead. After walking Yadier Molina to load the bases, Durbin struck out Matt Adams and Freese lined out to end the inning. Eight of the nine runners that Durbin has inherited this season have scored.

* Utley appeared to forget how many outs there were in the first inning, running on contact from second base on a routine fly by Young. Utley, who had already reached home, was easily doubled off at second base. The doubleplay ended the inning and prevented the Phillies from attempting to build on an early 2-1 lead.

There were other moments when the Phillies saw their momentum fizzle. In the seventh, Nix's game-tying double put the go-ahead run at second base with nobody out. But Salas struck out Jimmy Rollins and coaxed John Mayberry Jr. into a groundout before giving way to lefty specialist Randy Choate, who ended the inning by getting Utley to fly out to leftfield. In the end, though, the Phillies broke through for a much-needed victory that improved them to 8-11 on the season. Rollins went 3-for-5 to push his average of to .257, while Brown drew a pair of walks to go with his eighth-inning single.

Philler

After the game, the Phillies optioned lefthander Joe Savery back to Triple A Lehigh Valley to make room for righthander Jonathan Pettibone, who will make his major league debut on Monday against the Pirates.


On Twitter: @HighCheese

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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