Phillies 13, Cardinals 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Kyle Kendrick has done nothing but win for a long-suffering Philadelphia franchise known more for losing for over a century.
Kendrick remained perfect with another effective outing and drove in two runs, and the Phillies stayed on 9,999 losses with a 13-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
Kendrick (4-0) can’t be blamed for any of the first 9,999 losses, so there was no need for the rookie’s first “L” to be an ignominious milestone.
“I didn’t think of that at all,” he said. “I saw a couple of things here and there about it, but I wasn’t thinking of it.”
Albert Pujols of the Cardinals hit his 17th homer, his first since June 14.
Kendrick has been a pleasant surprise since he was called up from Double-A Reading in June to take the injured Freddy Garcia’s spot in the rotation. Kendrick has pitched at least six innings in all six of his starts, hasn’t allowed more than four earned runs and provided a needed lift to a staff that has been decimated by injuries.
“He was doing it all,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “He could have sold popcorn tonight.”
Having this kind of run support certainly helps, too.
“I’m not complaining,” Kendrick said. “It’s a lot easier to pitch that way.”
The Phillies have long tired of questions about becoming the first professional sports team to reach an unwanted record: 10,000 losses. Philadelphia rocked starter Kip Wells (3-12) for five runs in the first inning and scored nine runs by the fifth, leaving the dubious mark for another game.
“It’s going to happen. It’s inevitable,” Rollins said. “We could be perfect, but I doubt it.”
Fans draped a banner over the second deck that read “7 Stadiums, 52 managers, 2150 players, 10,000 loses.”
Yes, “loses.” Maybe the fans can’t spell, but the Phillies at least gave them another shot at getting it right this weekend.
Still, 125 years with one World Series title (1980) to show for all those losses doesn’t keep the fans from filling Citizens Bank Park. The crowd of 43,838 was the 13th sellout of the season. Saturday’s game is sold out and less than 5,000 tickets remain for Sunday.
Rollins (0-for-15), Utley (2-for-12) and Ryan Howard (1-for-9) all had horrible career numbers against Wells, thought none of it mattered in the first. Rollins hit a leadoff double, Utley had an RBI single and Howard doubled as part of a seven-hit, five-run inning. Kendrick singled up the middle for his first career RBI.
“It was absurd amount of hits,” Wells said. “It wasn’t something you’d want to endure.”
Utley’s RBI single made it 6-0 in the second and that chased Wells. He allowed eight hits, six runs—four earned—in one-plus innings, his shortest outing of the season. Wells had been 5-0 career against the Phillies.
“He was not good,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “He set a bad tempo for us. We needed him to go deeper in the game and he didn’t. He didn’t pitch well.”
Kendrick pitched seven innings in the longest stint of his brief major league career, allowing one run and four hits. He had two hits and earned a rousing ovation when he batted in the sixth. His sacrifice fly in the fourth made it 8-0.
“You knew he was going to go out and get quality starts,” Phillies outfielder Aaron Rowand said. “He’s really given us a chance every time he’s gone out.”
Pujols hit a solo shot off J.C Romero in the eighth, his first homer in 77 at-bats.
One Web site, celebrate10000.com, offers Phillies fans an opportunity to share stories and buy a T-shirt or pint glass stamped with the box score from the 10,000th loss. There was a message posted on the Web site for fans to meet at the Connie Mack statue outside the ballpark following the 10,000th loss and “parade” across the street to a nearby sports bar.
The only thing those fans could raise a glass to on Friday was a lopsided win.
There was a moment of silence for longtime major league umpire Shag Crawford. Crawford died Wednesday. He was 90. … SS David Eckstein, just activated off the DL, was not in St. Louis’ starting lineup. … Phillies LF Pat Burrell, already the No. 1 target for the boo birds, heard them in the seventh when he dropped a routine fly ball. Burrell added a sacrifice fly in the seventh that made it 11-1. … Basketball coaches Tom Izzo of Michigan State and Tom Crean of Marquette waited for La Russa outside his office after the game. … The 23 hits were the most for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park and the most overall since they had 23 against Los Angeles in 1990.