Phillies’ 6-game winning streak ends with 2-1, 10-inning loss at Cardinals
Molina singled home the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a 2-1 victory Wednesday night that stopped Philadelphia’s six-game winning streak and dropped the Phillies 2 1/2 games back of the NL East-leading Mets.
“We had all kind of chances,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “We just couldn’t get the big hit. A couple of times all we needed was a fly ball. We just couldn’t do it.”
Coming off a tense 7-4, 14-inning victory Tuesday night, the Phillies went ahead on Pat Burrell’s RBI double in the sixth only to have pitcher Adam Wainwright tie the score for St. Louis with a run-scoring single in the bottom half.
Scott Spiezio flied out to the right-field wall against Brett Myers (4-7) for the first out in the 10th, with Shane Victornio making a leaping catch. Miguel Cairo beat out an infield hit, stole second and pinch-hitter Russell Branyan struck out.
Molina, whose tiebreaking, ninth-inning homer beat the Mets in Game 7 of last year’s NL championship series, bounced a single through the left side of the infield. The run was likely to score easily even before left fielder Jayson Werth slipped and fell and fielding the ball.
It came on a night when Molina bobblehead dolls were given out.
“It’s real special to do it for the fans. It’s so special for me,” he said.
Philadelphia, which dropped 2 1/2 games behind San Diego in the NL wild-card race, left two men on in each of the last three innings. The Phillies were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Cleanup hitter Ryan Howard was 0-for-1 with a strikeout and four walks.
“I never really got a chance to hit,” Howard said. “There wasn’t a whole lot I could do.”
Chase Utley was stranded at third after his one-out triple in the eighth, Jimmy Rollins grounded out with runners on second and third ending the ninth, and Randy Flores (3-0) struck out Aaron Rowand and Werth with runners on first and second to end the 10th.
The Phillies have 10 games to go and open a four-game series at Washington on Thursday. They’re 7-4 against the Nationals, although they dropped two of three against them at the end of last season, falling out of contention for the NL wild card.
“I think we’ve got an 8-2 run in us, I sure do,” Manuel said. “We’ve got to keep going. Eighty-nine or 90 wins will get us something.”
The win was only the second in 14 games for the Cardinals.
“Even though the first two games went against us, it’s the most fun we’ve had,” manager Tony La Russa said. “We made plays and we hung in there, and we finally got one.”
Wainwright, who became the first Cardinals’ first-year pitcher to make 30 starts since Rick Ankiel in 2000, allowed one run and four hits in eight innings with seven strikeouts.
Phillies starter Jamie Moyer minimized the damage from a season-worst five walks, allowing one run and seven hits in six innings.
Wainwright, a .310 batter who got his fourth pinch hit on Tuesday, tied it at 1 in the sixth with his second hit of the game. The Cardinals got two walks and two hits with two outs against Moyer but left the bases loaded when David Eckstein popped out to shallow right, with Jayson Werth slipping as he tore out a chunk of turf before hauling in the catch.
Two days earlier, Rowand slipped twice in center and then fell while chasing Ryan Ludwick’s fly near the warning track, making the catch from the seat of his pants to preserve a one-run lead in a 13-11 victory.