Utley, Howard and Burrell homered in successive at-bats in the first inning and the Phillies had a season-high 21 hits in a 20-2 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
“I think that definitely got us going, yeah,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “If that don’t get you going, I guess nothing will.”
Kyle Kendrick (6-2) worked seven strong innings and contributed two hits and an RBI, including his first career extra-base hit, to a nine-run fourth. The toughest aspect of the game was staying aggressive on the mound.
“I’m not complaining at all, I love that lead,” Kendrick said. “But for me you have to focus a little harder.”
Howard went 3-for-5 with two homers and drove in five runs. Carlos Ruiz had four hits and four RBIs and the Phillies scored 20 runs twice in a season for the first time since 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The 20 runs tied the major league high for the season, set by the Phillies on May 26 at home against the Rockies,
“Did I know that? I know it now,” Howard said. “Fun tidbits of information.”
The NL East leaders are 10-1 in Kendrick’s last 11 starts. They are an NL-best 20-15 on the road and are averaging 7.5 runs in their last 22 games against the Cardinals.
The 20 runs were the most by an opponent at 3-year-old Busch Stadium, two higher than the previous high by the Astros on Sept. 20, 2007.
Utley hit his major league-leading 22nd homer, Howard his 16th and Burrell his 17th after Todd Wellemeyer (7-2) got two easy outs to start the game. It happened for the seventh time in franchise history, and the first time since May 18, 2004, against the Dodgers when Bobby Abreu, Burrell and Jim Thome connected in succession.
“It’s pretty cool to have Chase kind of start it off and then me go and Pat come right after that,” Howard said. “It was pretty fun to be a part of.”
Utley is batting .402 during a 21-game hitting streak against the Cardinals with three homers and 20 RBIs.
Howard added a three-run shot in the sixth off Mark Worrell for his 14th career multihomer game, the second this season.
Cardinals reliever Russ Springer and manager Tony La Russa were ejected by home plate umpire Larry Vanover after Howard was hit by a pitch in the eighth. La Russa signaled to the bullpen for a pitching change from the infield during a lull in a long argument before leaving the field.
Manuel said it was obvious Springer was throwing at Howard, noting “Ryan stands way off the plate.” Howard wasn’t sure.
“I don’t know if it was intentional or not,” Howard said. “If it was, it was, and now it’s over and we go out and play tomorrow.”
Springer said he was “very surprised” that he got ejected and La Russa backed him up.
“I mean, he threw a cutter inside,” La Russa said. “If you had a Bible here for Russ Springer or myself, the man was not hit intentionally.”
Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo was ejected in the eighth after arguing that Phillies reliever Rudy Seanez should have been tossed for throwing a pitch behind Brendan Ryan. La Russa confronted umpires near the Phillies clubhouse after the game.
“If you’re going to be that quick to throw somebody out the game, do it on both sides,” Springer said. “I really don’t want to say anything else.”
Wellemeyer allowed a career-high eight runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings, by far his worst start of the year. Wellemeyer, the NL pitcher of the month in May, missed his last turn in the rotation due to an elbow injury.
The three homers in the first equaled the total allowed by Wellemeyer in his previous nine appearances.
“I didn’t feel too good today,” Wellemeyer said. “My delivery felt a little out of whack.”
Skip Schumaker was 3-for-5 with a homer and Troy Glaus went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Cardinals, coming off a 6-3 trip. St. Louis and Philadelphia each entered the night at 40-28, tied for second-best in the NL. Infielder Aaron Miles worked a perfect ninth against the top of the Phillies order, his third career outing and first since the blowout loss to the Astros last September.
The Phillies’ nine-run fourth included seven hits and five walks and made it 13-1. Ron Villone retired only two of 10 hitters in the inning, one on a sacrifice fly, while allowing four hits and four walks. He threw 46 pitches.
Kendrick, who entered the game 2-for-22 at the plate, had a double for his only extra-base hit in 66 at-bats, and RBI single while scoring twice in the fourth. He allowed two runs, one earned, on eight hits with one strikeout and one walk.
The Phillies’ previous best inning was eight runs in the sixth at Washington on May 21, in a 12-2 victory. … Before Friday, Wellemeyer had been 7-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 20 career outings, 13 of them starts, at Busch Stadium. … The Phillies lead the NL with extra-base hits and total bases. … Howard has 38 RBIs in his last 34 games. He grew up in a St. Louis suburb and is a career .353 hitter (24-for-68) against the Cardinals with eight homers and 22 RBIs. … Schumaker is 5-for-9 against Kendrick with a homer and two doubles.