Phillies beat Cardinals 5-3 in 10 innings

The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) Hunter Pence lost track of an easy flyball in the fourth inning. He didn't miss a fat pitch in the 10th.

Pence hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning as the Phillies, after thwarting the St. Louis Cardinals for three straight innings Friday night, won 5-3 for their third consecutive victory.

''Every win is big, and to get the lead in the 10th inning is huge, no matter how you get the runs across,'' Pence said. ''I don't care if it's a bloop, broken bat, anything, an infield hit.''

The Phillies survived a fourth inning in which Pence, the right fielder, and Shane Victorino, the center fielder, lost balls in the lights.

''I didn't see either one,'' Pence said. ''I didn't see his or mine. It's just that twilight time. There's like a good 10 minutes at night where the ball and sky look the same.''

The winning runs came too late for Cliff Lee, a 17-game winner last season still seeking his first win of 2012.

''Things happen. You can't really control it as a pitcher,'' Lee said. ''I did have a two-run lead that I let slip away, so that's my fault.''

Juan Pierre singled to start the 10th against Jason Motte, working his second inning. Pence had been hitless in nine at-bats before lining the St. Louis closer's first pitch over the right field wall for his team-leading 11th homer. He's 3 for 10 against Motte (3-2) with two homers and three RBIs.

''It was middle away but it was up,'' Motte said. ''He's a good fastball hitter, he was able to put the barrel on it and keep it fair.''

Raul Valdes (2-0), who hadn't won a game since Sept. 15, 2010, before getting the decision in Thursday's 10-9 victory, struck out Tyler Greene and Matt Holliday with two on in the ninth inning to win for the second straight game. Jonathan Papelbon finished for his National League-leading 14th save in 14 chances.

The Cardinals missed chances at the go-ahead hit in the seventh, eighth and ninth. Holliday flied out to the left field wall with a man on to end the seventh, Yadier Molina was thrown out trying to score from first on Matt Adams' two-out double to the right-center gap in the eighth and Holliday struck out with two on to end the ninth, breaking his bat in frustration after slamming it off the plate.

Holliday said he didn't get all of a slow curveball on the flyout to the wall. He might have been squeezed on a pitch called a strike during his strikeout.

''You play a long season, you play a lot of games, you're going to have frustrating nights,'' Holliday said. ''And this was one of them.''

Second baseman Freddy Galvis had a strong relay to the plate and Carlos Ruiz hung on after Molina crashed into him.

Molina said last year he almost ''broke my leg'' when Ruiz blocked the plate and he tried to slide.

''I hate to do that, I think this is my first time doing that in my whole career, in my whole life,'' Molina said. ''I hate doing that to another catcher, but sometimes it's part of the game.

''If it happened to me I wouldn't say anything bad,'' he said.

Lee's, who's 0-2 despite a 2.82 ERA, left after striking out seven in seven innings in a game tied at 3. Lee won 17 games last year, finishing third in the Cy Young balloting.

Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse had no walks or strikeouts for the second time in two seasons against the Phillies and against Lee, giving up three earned runs in 6 1-3 innings. He walked none in eight innings in a 4-0 loss at home to Philadelphia last June 22.

Lee, who got called third strikes on five of his strikeouts, barely survived the seventh, convincing manager Charlie Manuel to leave him in before Holliday's flyout to the wall.

Lee singled for his second hit to start the seventh, and got a good jump on Pierre's double off Mitchell Boggs with one out, scoring easily to tie it. He's tied for the lead among pitchers with six hits and is batting .375.

The Cardinals opened the fourth with four straight hits, two of them lost in the lights or the twilight. They scored only once, running into an out when Molina was caught trying for third after Adams' popup dropped between equally bewildered Pence and Victorino for a gift hit.

David Freese started the inning with his third career triple, a drive off the top of the center field wall that Victorino couldn't track, waving his arms while drifting back in the track. Molina's single made it 3-2, but Victorino salvaged some wounded pride when he retrieved the ball after Adams' single and threw out Molina at third.

''Very big relief,'' Pence said. ''At that point, you pick up the ball and say let's see. We kind of ran into each other, Vic got the ball and threw him out.''

Jimmy Rollins had an RBI single and another run scored on first baseman Adams' fielding error as the Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the second. Adams and Shane Robinson had consecutive doubles in the bottom of the second and Furcal hit his third homer leading off the third to tie it.

Furcal, whose drive appeared to bang off a sign just above the left field wall, is 3 for 7 against Lee with two homers.

Lee has allowed three or fewer runs in all five of his career starts against St. Louis, two of them shutouts.

NOTES: The Phillies and Cardinals combined for 33 hits on Thursday, with each team getting 15 or more in a nine-inning game for the first time since May 12, 1935, at League Park in Philadelphia in St. Louis' 10-8 victory. Pepper Martin and Leo Durocher each had three hits for the Cardinals, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... One night after a streaker eluded authorities for several minutes, Fredbird, the Cardinals' team mascot, ran across the field minus his uniform to delighted applause. ... Carlos Beltran was not in the original Cardinals lineup, written before he arrived, but talked his way in. Then he went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts. ... Robinson was 2 for 34 with no RBIs in May and 0 for his last16 with runners in scoring position before his RBI double in the second.

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