Phillies 13, Cardinals 4
Pat Burrell hit a three-run homer to increase his major league-leading RBI total to 15 and Bobby Abreu had three hits and four RBIs, helping Jon Lieber and the Philadelphia Phillies rout the St. Louis Cardinals 13-4 on Sunday.
“There’s a lot of opportunities here,” Burrell said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that are very good hitters. Everybody’s out there driving guys in.”
The Phillies manhandled the Cardinals in their final game at 40-year-old Busch Stadium, which is being demolished to make room for a new ballpark after the season. They took two of three in the Cardinals’ first home series after dropping two of three at home against the Nationals to start the year.
“I knew from Day 1 in camp what this lineup could do,” Lieber said. “This doesn’t surprise me at all. These guys can hit.”
The Cardinals, who received their NL championship rings for winning their 16th pennant last season in a pregame ceremony, led for only one-half of an inning in the series and lost the last two games 23-8. St. Louis got homers from Albert Pujols, Abraham Nunez and So Taguchi, all coming with the game out of hand.
“Yesterday and today we showed we can hit and we can win some games,” Abreu said. “The way we’re playing right now is the way this team is supposed to play.”
In a matchup of opening day pitchers, Lieber retired the first 12 batters while the Cardinals’ Chris Carpenter (1-1) was hit hard and failed to make it out of the fourth.
“They were on everything he threw,” Cardinals manger Tony La Russa said. “We weren’t on anything Lieber threw.”
Lieber (2-0), who beat the Nationals in his first start, didn’t allow a hit until Scott Rolen singled to start the fifth. He gave up four runs—two earned — and four hits . Lieber struck out three and walked none and is 9-1 in his last 12 starts dating to last season.
Burrell’s third homer put the Phillies ahead 6-0 in the third. He was 6-for-14 with two homers and nine RBIs in the series and leads the NL in hits (12), RBIs and total bases (24).
Burrell has driven in a run in all six games, a career best.
Abreu had an RBI double in the first, an RBI single third and a two-run double in the fourth off Carpenter, who allowed only one run on four hits in seven innings in his season debut at Houston while retiring his last 13 batters. This time Carpenter lasted only 3 1-3 innings, giving up eight runs and 10 hits.
Carpenter was in trouble from the first pitch, which Jimmy Rollins lined to center for a single.
“I made some good pitches; they hit some good pitches,” Carpenter said. “I made some bad pitches and they hit those, too. It was just one of those days that I have no excuse for.”
Cardinals center fielder Jim Edmonds also had a rough game, failing to pursue Abreu’s drive to the track in the first that landed over his head for a double and then misplaying pinch-hitter Tomas Perez’s two-run bases-loaded single in the seventh, allowing a third run to score when the ball rolled under his glove and nearly went to the wall.
But Edmonds seemed to lay the blame on pitching for the poor series, saying: “We can’t play defense behind a fastball right down the middle.”
Jim Thome, who had an RBI double in the fourth, received a replica of the stadium on behalf of the team as part of the pregame ceremonies. … Phillies CF Kenny Lofton was removed in the sixth after experiencing tightness in his right hamstring. He made a nice running catch of a drive by Edmonds in the fifth. Manager Charlie Manuel doesn’t think it’s a serious injury. … Abreu was 7-for-16 in the series. … Cardinals reliever Bill Pulsipher injured his left hamstring, a spring training injury, on his followthrough in the eighth and likely will be placed on the 15-day disabled list. “I would say the prospects are not good,” La Russa said.