Cardinals 8, Phillies 3
ST. LOUIS (AP)—Batting fourth for the only the second time this season, Chris Duncan did his share of cleaning up.
Duncan and Juan Encarnacion homered and had three RBIs apiece to back six sharp innings from Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals beat Philadelphia 8-3 on Saturday to stop the Phillies’ six-game winning streak in St. Louis.
“I think he enjoys the middle of the lineup,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “I don’t care where he hits, the other side is going to pay a lot of attention to him.”
Duncan batted second last year as a rookie, just ahead of Albert Pujols, and is one of five players used in the fourth spot this season by La Russa. He’s batting .458 (11-for-24) in his last eight games with four homers and eight RBIs.
“Regardless of where you’re hitting it all comes down to making sure you get a good pitch to hit and making sure you’re ready when the guy makes a mistake,” Duncan said. “I’m starting to feel a lot more comfortable.”
Wainwright (6-6) ended a personal three-game home losing streak for St. Louis, which has won five of seven. So Taguchi extended his hitting streak to 15 games and Scott Spiezio had two hits for a nine-game run.
Jimmy Rollins had three hits and an RBI for the Phillies, who have lost four of six. Philadelphia averaged 9.6 runs per game during its winning streak in St. Louis, which began with two games at old Busch Stadium.
“That’s a great lineup,” Wainwright said. “They’ve got guys who can hurt you all the way through and you’ve just got to make pitches the whole time or you’ll find yourself in a tough jam.”
Encarnacion, whose 18-game hitting streak ended earlier in the week, hit a three-run drive off Adam Eaton in the fourth inning to put the Cardinals ahead 4-1. Eaton (7-5) had retired eight in a row before walking Pujols with one out. He struck out Duncan before Scott Rolen hit a ground-rule double to set up Encarnacion’s fifth homer.
Encarnacion was 3-for-15 against Eaton with no homers before the drive, and Duncan’s two-run shot off Eaton in the sixth made it 6-2.
“He made some mistakes and got hurt,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “Crooked numbers will hurt you. He usually pitches good games.”
Wainwright allowed two runs and seven hits, wriggling out of trouble with the help of two double-play balls. The Phillies left two men on in the first and fifth against the right-hander.
Wainwright entered the game 1-3 with a 5.60 ERA in six day starts and had a 4.50 ERA during his home losing streak.
Eaton allowed two homers in 5 1-3 innings, as many as he’d given up in his first four starts this month combined. He gave up six runs and eight hits.
“Those two pitches were a couple I’d like to have back,” Eaton said.
Ryan Howard fought off an inside pitch and flared it softly to left for an RBI single that put the Phillies ahead in the first. The Cardinals tied it in the bottom half on singles by Spiezio and Pujols and Duncan’s RBI grounder that deflected off Eaton’s glove to second baseman Chase Utley.
The Phillies cut it to 6-3 in the seventh on Utley’s RBI single off Ryan Franklin, but missed a chance for more when Howard, who had two hits, flied out to right with two runners on to end the inning.
The Cardinals added two runs in the eighth. Right fielder Shane Victorino overran the ball on Aaron Miles’ third hit, allowing Encarnacion to score from first, and Miles scored on Jose Mesa’s wild pitch.
The Phillies announced after the game that RHP Jon Lieber will be out indefinitely with a ruptured tendon in his right foot. … Comedian Bill Cosby threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … Victorino grounded into a double play for only the fourth time of the season in the fifth, and the first time batting left-handed. … Eaton fell to 15-7 for his career against the NL Central. … Howard, who is from suburban St. Louis, is 9-for-22 (.409) with nine RBIs in five games at new Busch Stadium, which opened last year. … Old Busch Stadium was demolished after the 2005 season.