Cardinals 4, Phillies 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Jimmy Rollins would trade a hit for a win.
While Rollins stretched his hitting streak to 38 games, the Philadelphia Phillies remained winless. Yadier Molina’s two-out RBI single off Tom Gordon in the ninth inning lifted the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-3 victory on Wednesday night.
Rollins kept up his pursuit of Joe DiMaggio’s major league record 56-game hitting streak with a double in the first inning, and finished 2-for-4 with two doubles. He waited until his final at-bat to keep the streak going with a double in the eighth inning of Monday’s season opener.
“I’d rather do it in a winning fashion,” Rollins said.
Skip Schumaker hit his first career homer and Albert Pujols again went deep for the Cardinals. Winner Brad Thompson pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Jason Isringhausen escaped a jam in the ninth to get his first save.
“You have to feel like you can play up here,” said Schumaker, who got a beer bath from his teammates after the game. “If you don’t, you don’t belong here.”
Bell hit a tying, two-run homer off Mark Mulder in the seventh inning. But the Cardinals went ahead against Gordon in his first appearance for the Phillies.
Pujols walked to start the ninth. After Jim Edmonds struck out, Pujols stole second base and advanced to third when catcher Lieberthal’s throw sailed into center field for an error. But Pujols was thrown out at the plate on Scott Rolen’s grounder to Rollins at shortstop for the second out.
After Schumaker walked, Molina scored Rolen with a single to left.
“I was looking for something offspeed, and he threw me a curve down,” Molina said. “It was a good pitch.”
Mulder retired the first two batters in the seventh before Howard singled to center. Bell then ripped a liner into the left-field seats to tie it at 3.
Bell missed most of spring training with a back injury and wasn’t happy about not starting the opener. He was a major target for criticism last season after hitting just .199 against right-handers and could end up being platooned with switch-hitting Abraham Nunez.
Schumaker gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead when he drove a 1-1 pitch off Brett Myers into the right-field seats leading off the fourth inning.
Pujols made it 3-1 with a solo shot in the fifth. Down 0-2 in the count, the reigning NL MVP turned on Myers’ inside fastball and lined it inside the left-field foul pole for his third homer in two games.
“That was a purpose pitch to set him up,” Myers said. “That was impressive. Not too many guys in the world can do that.”
Schumaker led off the second with a single, stole second, went to third on Molina’s single and scored when Aaron Miles’ bloop single fell in front of right fielder Abreu.
Mulder gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings. Mulder, who has won at least 15 games five straight years, was 16-8 with a 3.64 ERA in his first season with the Cardinals.
Myers allowed three runs and five hits while walking five in five innings. The right-hander was 13-8 with a 3.72 ERA last season, though he was just 4-3 with a 4.66 ERA in the final two months.
“I felt like I was throwing an ice cube,” Myers said of pitching in the cold weather.
Before the game, the Phillies claimed INF Angel Chavez off waivers from San Francisco and assigned him to Double-A Reading. Chavez hit .263 in 10 games with the Giants last season. … Rollins is 6-for-11 against Mulder. … Pujols has five homers in his last five games, including last season. … Only 20,557, less than half the total on opening day, showed up on a cold night.